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Labour to Force U.K. Parliamentary Vote on Mansion Tax

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Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) -- The U.K.’s opposition Labour Party will call a parliamentary vote on leader Ed Miliband’s plan to levy a tax on houses valued at more than 2 million pounds ($3.1 million), in an effort to embarrass Liberal Democrat ministers.

The Liberal Democrats, the junior partners in Prime Minister David Cameron’s coalition, have advocated such a “mansion tax” as a key policy, arguing that it could help discourage investment in property and would also raise money from the wealthy.

Cameron’s Conservatives oppose more property taxes. That means Liberal Democrat lawmakers might be obliged to vote against the plan. The vote wouldn’t in any case be binding on the government.

“The Lib Dems say they are in favor of a mansion tax,” Miliband will say, according to his office, on a visit to the southern English town of Eastleigh today, where voters will elect a new lawmaker on Feb. 28. “Or will the Liberal Democrats do what they’ve done for 2 1/2 years: prop up a Tory Government that is squeezing the living standards of the middle harder and harder?”

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Hutton in London at rhutton1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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