Ed Miliband is no stranger to criticism. It seems like hardly a day goes by without new opponents rearing their heads to denounce everything from his latest policy proposals, to the way he eats a sandwich. The latest person to wage war on the Labour leader is none other than ex-’I‘m a Celebrity’ contestant and fountain of political knowledge, Myleene Klass. In a heated exchange, Klass blasted Ed Miliband’s plans to tax homes worth more than two million pounds.
In a bid to detract attention from what is clearly shameless self preservation, Klass chose to point out that many pensioners who inherited their homes were low income and would be unfairly penalised, expressing concern for the ‘little grannies’ who would suffer as a result. It was clear the former pop star had been well briefed and she delivered an apparently convincing argument against the move. However her argument was somewhat undermined by the fact that Labour has stated that the tax for people in this situation could be deferred until the property changes hands.
Subsequent polls have shown that most of the general public agree with Miliband’s stance, this is hardly surprising if we consider that the mansion tax would only affect 0.5 per cent of the population. Unfortunately this 0.5 per cent often wield the most influence. A recent study from the Independent found that Conservative policy has succeeded in making the wealthy even wealthier and widening the gap between rich and poor. If we continue to allow only the upper echelons of society to dictate policy, the number of people who actually benefit from economic policies will continue to decrease. Opposition to this tax merely serves to highlight the stark removal of the wealthiest members of society from the reality of their privileged position.
It is estimated that around £1.2 billion will be generated from the mansion tax by sources independent from the Labour Party and countless financial experts have pointed out the necessity of such a tax. Furthermore, the tax would apply to foreign buyers of expensive homes who often purchase them with no intention of actually living in the UK permanently; these homes are then left vacant for large stretches of time. It is no secret that the NHS and other public services are struggling, and rather than raise VAT or other taxes which would impact everybody, it makes sense to derive extra cash from a previously untapped resource which would only affect people who are perfectly able to pay for it.
Ultimately, the mansion tax makes total financial sense and to go back on it now would only signify another victory for an already overindulged upper class. While it is right to scrutinise political decisions, Myleene Klass and her supporters are wildly misguided if they think that their own personal indignation should come before the needs of an entire country.