London

Hammersmith & Fulham council rejects 'mansion tax'

Image caption Hammersmith & Fulham council said the mansion tax could force people out of the borough

A Labour council in London has rejected its party's policy on the "mansion tax", saying the plans would affect its residents unfairly.

Hammersmith & Fulham Council opposed the idea recently announced by shadow chancellor Ed Balls to levy a tax on all homes valued over £2m.

The Labour-run council passed a motion promising to "lobby against" the plans.

It said the policy could result in "many local people being forced to move out of the borough".

Mr Balls said the mansion tax would be applied to homes worth between £2m and £3m, requiring owners to pay £250 a month under a future Labour government.

Homes worth "tens of millions" and second home owners would pay much higher rates of the "progressive" tax.

But several Labour MPs in London have expressed concerns about the policy, which is one of Labour's main 2015 manifesto commitments.

Money raised would pay for the recruitment of 38,000 new GPs, nurses, midwives and other NHS professionals.

Hammersmith & Fulham's motion noted 50% of people having to pay the tax "are within just five London Boroughs including Hammersmith & Fulham".

It added: "Due to significant increases in local property prices, large numbers of residents living in average family homes, including many on low incomes, will be hit by this tax, paying bills starting from £20,000 per year."

The motion said the council would "lobby against the mansion tax" given that it "could lead to many local people being forced to move out of the borough".

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