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Osborne Says Mansion Tax Proposal Too Costly, May Target Homes

Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne reiterated his opposition to a tax on houses worth more than 2 million pounds ($3.1 million), saying it was costly to implement and may target people’s homes rather than the rich.

The opposition Labour Party said it will call a parliamentary vote on the proposal, which it wants to introduce to pay for a new 10 percent income-tax band for low earners. The levy was originally a policy suggested by the government’s Liberal Democrat coalition partners, before being taken up by Labour leader Ed Miliband.

“It’s very costly to implement,” Osborne told ITV Plc’s “The Agenda” program today. “Either it’s a tax con and the money comes from somewhere else or it’s soon a homes tax and they say it’s a mansion tax before the election and then very quickly it becomes a homes tax on many people who are not living in mansions at all.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, said this month he had been unable to persuade his Conservative coalition partners to adopt the so-called “mansion tax” proposal.

To contact the reporter on this story: Svenja O’Donnell in London at sodonnell@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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