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Labour's proposed mansion tax would hit nearly 2,000 Islington households

PUBLISHED: 08:00 10 October 2014

Tony Blair's former Barnsbury home was put on the market for £3.1 million last year.

Tony Blair's former Barnsbury home was put on the market for £3.1 million last year.

Dieter Perry

Nearly 2,000 of Islington's homeowners could be liable to pay a £12,000-a-year mansion tax or be forced to sell up should Labour win next year's election.

Emily ThornberryEmily Thornberry

Figures gathered for the Gazette by estate agent Knight Frank show that there are 1,896 homes in Islington valued at £2million or more that would be affected by Ed Miliband’s levy on houses and flats in some of London’s priciest spots.

Labour say the tax is designed to hit the richest in the country, with the money being used to improve services such as the NHS.

However, Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury Emily Thornberry – whose own home in the borough could be effected – said the tax would also apply to those who have found themselves in astronomically priced homes due to skyrocketing house values in the capital.

“I appreciated that there are people in Islington that are asset rich and income poor,” she said.

“For that reason I’ve had a number of discussions behind the scenes with the likes of Ed Balls to make sure that he understands that not everyone in a house worth more than £2m is necessarily a millionaire.

“So the way we’re going to introduce the policy is that it would be in a series of bands.

Smug

“When I first bought my house and saw it going up in value I was quite encouraged and felt quite smug and we were all feeling very pleased with ourselves but now it has just gotten ridiculous.”

Areas in the borough that would be most likely to be hit by the tax would be Barnsbury, Canonbury, Finsbury, Islington and Clerkenwell where houses and even flats regularly sell for at least £2m.

Three bed flats in Owen Street, Islington, for example, are currently listed on property website Zoopla for £4m.

Ms Thornberry said that while the policy would make allowances for those who would be burdened by their postcode, she had no sympathy for millionaires splashing their cash.

“It can’t be right that someone can pay £140m for a flat at One Hyde Park Corner and then only pay something like £26 a week in council tax. There has to be a way of taxing assets.

“We need to find the money from somewhere to improve the NHS with more doctors and more nurses. Just getting to see a GP in Islington at the moment is almost impossible.”

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