Boris Johnson scraps mansion tax plans in Budget after fierce backlash from Tories

The backtrack comes ahead of next month’s Budget under his new Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, following the shock resignation of Sajid Javid. The proposal was part of the Prime Minister’s vision to “level up” deprived parts of the country. A government source was quoted by The Sunday Times as saying Mr Sunak is “highly unlikely” to include the wealth tax in his first Budget. The Treasury had also wanted to bring in a nationwide revaluation of homes. 

This would have seen millions of families across Britain faced with higher council tax bills. 

But Mr Johnson is said to have “cooled” on the idea. 

Although The Prime Minister has a strong backing in Parliament after winning an 80-seat majority in the December election he is said to have been fearful of a large backlash in his party. 

Last week Conservative Party activist Darren Grimes tore into Mr Johnson’s so-called “mansion tax” plan. 

Speaking on the BBC’s Politics live, Mr Grimes warned the policy was a step in the wrong direction and would send a message to the world that the UK is not “low-tax and open for business”. 

Host Jo Coburn argued that “levelling up does have to be funded” and asked: “Does that mean abandoning long-held Tory free-market principles?”

Mr Grimes hit back, saying: “Absolutely not if you think about the welfare taxes that we have got in this country they are some of the highest in the world as far as property is concerned.

READ MORE: Big home owners to pay DOUBLE council tax in authority’s new scheme

“You have got stamp duty, inheritance tax, you’ve council tax.

“People are taxed incredibly highly at the minute.

“The Government has been talking a lot about levelling up, really exciting stuff.

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“This would be Britain levelling down.”

Meanwhile, finance ministers from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have urged the UK government to hold urgent pre-Budget talks.

The devolved administrations also sought clarity on plans for a forthcoming comprehensive spending review.

The joint letter said: “It will be important to discuss the challenges for public spending as a result of leaving the European Union and how we can work together to ensure as smooth a transition as possible to a UK funding framework which delivers for all parts of the United Kingdom and respects devolution.

“A key test of this will be to complete our joint work to review and improve the statement of funding policy, which is integral to our ability to plan and manage budgets, and to formalise the finance ministers’ quadrilateral as a regular forum to resolve fiscal issues that impact on all parts of the UK.”

Stormont finance minister Conor Murphy, Scottish public finance minister Kate Forbes and Welsh finance minister Rebecca Evans called for the joint meeting with Chief Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay.

They wrote: “An early meeting could cover likely implications for the devolved administrations of the UK Budget.

“This would be especially welcome given challenges created by the delay in the UK budget and the late consequential changes to our 2019-20 budgets at supplementary estimates.

“We would also value clarity in relation to your plans for the forthcoming UK comprehensive spending review, in particular its likely timing and engagement with the devolved governments.”

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