Saturday, 8 December 2012

Absolutely landed

A side-light is cast on the ConDem coalition's capacity for self-harm in today's Guardian as the paper reveals how while Lib Dems were recently negotiating to get their mansion tax into the Autumn statement, their tory 'allies' were privately sending out letters to donors and wealthy homeowners promising to defeat the plans.

In a separate story highlighting the inborn Conservative attachment to property, the Independent has news that chancellor George Osborne is under scrutiny for expense claims he made to cover mortgage payments for a paddock.

It is alleged that Osborne claimed around £100,000 in expenses for mortgage interest payments on his Macclesfield home but it has since come to light that the paddock for which he also claimed is a separate property. None of this was flagged up during a parliamentary inquiry into how the MP had "flipped" his second home allowance. The house and paddock have now been sold for a reported £1m or thereabouts.

Earlier in the week, Osborne and his Lib Dem sidekick Danny Alexander both insisted that further housing benefit cuts were an essential part of necessary deficit reduction plans – which now extend into 2018.

Meanwhile the proposed Mansion Tax has totally disappeared and reaction is setting in among Lib Dem party workers as to how to one of the deals agreed by their leaders means around 400,000 middle-class professionals are set to pay more income tax as they get pushed on to the 40p rate under “fiscal drag”.

So much for mitigation

Update: Mr Black has belated cottoned on to the story and has accused the tories of negotiating in bad faith. Of course there are many electors who think his party was guilty of doing the same thing to Labour a few years back.

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