Month: June 2014

Kensington Labour ‘Mansion Tax’ comment in The Standard

Letter in Standard 25.6.1424.6.14 (letter published in The Standard, left)

Councillor Emma Dent Coad Leader of Opposition Labour Group says:

‘Kensington and Chelsea is an exceptional borough in many ways, and the way that property prices have rocketed has little to do with their intrinsic value, and more to do with a global poker game for the super-rich; at some point this game will fold and the players will move on.

‘The Council Tax system as it currently functions is anachronistic, and works as yet another effective subsidy to landlords. This is in addition to capital gains tax relief, lack of property tax, and the ease of obtaining buy to let mortgages at preferential rates based on interest only. In most other European countries the owner pays the tax, not the beleaguered rental occupier; there is a logic to this as it is the owner who profits long-term.

‘The system currently being considered by Ed Balls would have unintended consequences in Kensington and Chelsea, and we have many questions and concerns that we have already made public. We have 12,000 homes worth over £2m in the borough, and 7,000 of those have been in the same ownership since 1999; some of these are families, retired people, or others on fixed incomes. The prospect of a Mansion Tax as currently envisaged would drive out these families and long-term residents, whether owners or renters, who tell us ‘it’s my borough too’.

‘Our counter-proposal would consider a revaluation of property, and setting more Council Tax bands, so some would pay less, and others more. We are working on the detail of this, while we wait for more detail on how a proposed Mansion Tax would work.

‘It cannot be right that the Sultan of Brunei pays just £10/week more for his 16-bed mansion than our Mrs Braithwaite in North Kensington for her three-bedroom Council home.’

 

 

 

 

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Kensington Labour Group: ready for action

11.6.14 036 - CopyLeft to right, back row, Harrison Littler, Bevan Powell, Robert Atkinson, Andrew Lomas, Robert Thompson, Mohammed Bakhtiar. Middle row, Emma Dent Coad, Monica Press, Pat Mason, Beinazir Lasharie. Front row, Pat Healy, Judith Blakeman. 

Kensington Labour is delighted to present its new team of Councillors, who made their first appearance at the RBKC Council AGM on 11 June, where former Whip Robert Atkinson was created Deputy Mayor.

Our senior Leadership team is looking forward to working as one with our new members, who bring a wealth of experience and knowledge into the Labour Group. All our hard work during the year-long election campaign has paid off, with a larger group bringing new energy and commitment.

11.6.14 030 - CopyLeft to right: Cllr Pat Mason, Labour Group Chair and Chair of Cabinet and Corporate Services Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Emma Dent Coad, Labour Group Leader, Cllr Andrew Lomas, Deputy Leader, and Cllr Judith Blakeman, Chief Whip.

New Labour Group Leader Emma Dent Coad said: ‘I am very excited to be working with a group that we worked so hard to put together, so that we can better serve our residents. Through our time-consuming committee work, liaising with community groups, casework and campaigning, we will always do our best for our constituents. We never forget, we work for you.’