UK Politics

Myleene Klass tax jibe raised in Ed Miliband v David Cameron clash

Myleene Klass Image copyright PA
Image caption Myleene Klass says she disagrees with Labour's proposed 'mansion tax'

David Cameron claimed at PM's questions that Ed Miliband had been "pasted by a pop star" after singer Myleene Klass's criticism of Labour's mansion tax.

The Hear'Say star claimed the tax would hit "little grannies" in modest London homes rather than the super-rich.

But the Labour leader insists the tax on homes worth £2m or more would help fund more NHS doctors and nurses.

Accusing the PM of failing the NHS, he said: "If you've got big money you've got a friend in this prime minister."

He added: "If you haven't - you couldn't care less."

The clash came just two days after Ms Klass attacked Mr Miliband on ITV's The Agenda for proposing a tax that conjured up thoughts of "Barbie-esque houses", when really the homes she claimed it would affect were often "like a garage".

Six-point plan

"When you do look at the people who are going to be suffering this tax, it's true a lot of them are grannies who have had these houses in their families for a long, long time," she said.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Ed Miliband says owners of £2-3m homes will pay an extra £250 a month

"The people who are the super-super-rich who are buying their houses for £140m, this is not necessarily going to affect them because they've got their tax rebates and their amazing accountants.

"It's going to be the little grannies that have lived in those houses for years and years."

This prompted Mr Miliband to outline a six-point response on Twitter, using a play on Hear'Say's biggest hit: "Here's why our NHS needs a mansion tax. It's Pure and Simple."

The Labour leader returned to the subject during a rowdy PM's question time by asking Mr Cameron why he backed a bedroom tax, but was against a mansion tax.

The PM said a spare room subsidy was not available in the private sector, so should not be available in public sector accommodation.

No 'Klass-act'

This prompted Mr Miliband to ask if the PM believed a person living in a £140m Hyde Park penthouse should pay the same property tax as others.

Mr Cameron argued that his government had taken measures to address the differential, by putting up stamp duty and charging foreigners who invest, adding: "What you've had in the last week is a pasting from a pop star."

Mr Miliband hit back: "That's exactly what I expect from this prime minister - you only feel the pain of people struggling to find a £2m garage.

"We need a mansion tax because the NHS is going backwards on your watch."

The PM taunted Labour MPs by quipping: "They are certainly not seeing a Klass-act opposite."

He said there were more nurses and doctors under his government and accused Labour of missing NHS targets in Wales.

"This was the week when Myleene Klass wiped the floor with you on TV and this is the week when a poll in Scotland showed more people believe in the Loch Ness monster than in your leadership. The only problem for the Labour Party is you actually exist."

Earlier, Mr Miliband told his 358,000 followers on Twitter that the mansion tax would contribute £1.2bn towards Labour's goal of raising £2.5bn a year for the NHS to help pay for thousands more doctors, nurses, midwives and homecare workers.

It would also "guarantee that patients in England will wait no longer than one week for cancer tests and results by 2020", he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he backed the plan, adding that treating higher value properties in the same banded way as lower value ones was a policy the Liberal Democrats "had advocated for a long time".

UKIP are opposed to the idea, describing it as an attack on aspiration.

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