Date: 13 Mar 2013, Politics and Current Affairs
Question setter: Mettletest Panel

Mansion tax

Will Labour win their amendment in the House of Commons, allowing MPs to express support for the principle of the mansion tax, on 12th March 2013?


Response:


Answer: No
Confidence level: 90%
Mean confidence level (all requests): 83.67%

Justification:
The amendment is futile and silly. There are so many better ways to tackle the tax problem and these have been sidelined for political posturing. The Government will vote down this amendment. Although many Liberal Democrats would like to support a mansion tax proposal this amendment is such a blatant piece of cynical political manipulation that the coalition will hold firm. When Cathy Jamieson, the shadow economic secretary to the Treasury, told Today programme's Evan Davis that she does "see merit in this particular proposal", and said that she was surprised that the Liberal Democrats are not openly in favour of the tax, the presenter's scepticism was obvious. Milliband himself must be beginning to regret the whole ploy, as it comes across, to any voters paying attention, as a pathetic attempt at dirty politics. Nobody will be convinced that it was a carefully thought-out decision after weighing up the possible options. The Labour party has itself firmly dismissed the idea in the recent past. Dirty tricks never play well and this will probably be the view of most Lib Dem MPs.

Outcome: No
Score: 90
Mean score (all respondents): 43.00

Expert opinion:


Answer: No

Selected Expert Answer from John Karslake:
On the day of the debate this vote is not making the newspaper headlines. This suggests that it is generally expected to be a damp squib. The Government will vote down this amendment. Although many Liberal Democrats would like to support a mansion tax proposal this amendment is such a blatant piece of cynical political manipulation that the coalition will hold firm. When Cathy Jamieson, the shadow economic secretary to the Treasury, told Today programme's Evan Davis that she does "see merit in this particular proposal", and said that she was surprised that the Liberal Democrats are not openly in favour of the tax, the presenter's scepticism was obvious. Milliband himself must be beginning to regret the whole ploy, as it comes across, to any voters paying attention, as a pathetic attempt at dirty politics. Nobody will be convinced that it was a carefully thought-out decision after weighing up the possible options. The Labour party has itself firmly dismissed the idea in the recent past. Dirty tricks never play well and this will probably be the view of most Lib Dem MPs.

Answer: No

Selected Expert Answer from Mettletest Panel:
The Government will vote down this amendment. Although many Liberal Democrats would like to support a mansion tax proposal this amendment is such a blatant piece of cynical political manipulation that the coalition will hold firm. When Cathy Jamieson, the shadow economic secretary to the Treasury, told Today programme's Evan Davis that she does "see merit in this particular proposal", and said that she was surprised that the Liberal Democrats are not openly in favour of the tax, the presenter's scepticism was obvious. Milliband himself must be beginning to regret the whole ploy, as it comes across, to any voters paying attention, as a pathetic attempt at dirty politics. Nobody will be convinced that it was a carefully thought-out decision after weighing up the possible options. The Labour party has itself firmly dismissed the idea in the recent past. Dirty tricks never play well and this will probably be the view of most Lib Dem MPs.

Answer: Yes

Selected Expert Answer from Mettletest Panellist:
Vince Cable may be sticking with the coalition line in public, but behind the scenes he is urging Lib Dems to support the Labour vote. The Government will not vote down this amendment. Many Liberal Democrats would like to support a mansion tax proposal this amendment, although it is such a blatant piece of cynical political manipulation. Cathy Jamieson, the shadow economic secretary to the Treasury, told Today programme's Evan Davis that she does "see merit in this particular proposal", and said that she was surprised that the Liberal Democrats are not openly in favour of the tax. Milliband himself must be rubbing his hands. Nobody will be convinced that it was a carefully thought-out decision after weighing up the possible options. The Labour party has itself firmly dismissed the idea in the recent past. Dirty tricks will rule!


Outcome: No

Comment on outcome from John Karslake:
As I expected the lack of buzz in the House or the press indicated that this little ploy was doomed. Labour must be happy that it was mostly drowned out in the media because it leaves them with egg on their face. MPs have rejected Labour calls for a "mansion tax" on properties worth more than £2m to be introduced before the next general election. Conservative and Lib Dem MPs joined forces to defeat the move by 63 votes after a Commons debate. The Lib Dems, who support the principle of such a tax, said Labour were simply trying to exploit coalition differences over the issue in an "infantile" move.