U.K.’s Labour Party Forces Mansion-Tax Vote to Split Coalition

The U.K.’s opposition Labour Party will force a vote in Parliament on March 12 on a tax on the most expensive houses as it seeks to sow division between the two parties in Prime Minister David Cameron’s coalition government.

The proposed tax, a policy espoused by Cameron’s Liberal Democrat coalition partners, would be levied on properties valued at more than 2 million pounds ($3 million). Labour is forcing the vote a week before Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s annual budget to highlight divisions in the government. The Tories oppose such a levy.

“After going along with a Tory tax cut for millionaires, a failing economic plan, a VAT rise and a trebling of tuition fees, this is a chance for the Liberal Democrats to finally vote for something that was in their manifesto,” Labour finance spokesman Chris Leslie said in an e-mailed statement.

The money raised from the so-called mansion tax would be used to cut taxes for people on middle and low incomes, Leslie said. The vote is not binding and would not introduce a levy if Labour was to win backing for its motion in the House of Commons.

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