Clegg vows to fight for wealth tax

by Richard Crump

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24 Sep 2012

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Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER Nick Clegg insisted on Sunday that he would continue to back a "wealth tax" ahead of his party's annual conference in Brighton this week.

Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, the Liberal Democrat leader said he would not agree to more spending cuts unless the Conservatives agreed to some form of tax on the rich.

Clegg admitted that "so far I have failed" to persuade prime minister David Cameron and chancellor George Osborne to accept his arguments for a mansion tax that would levy a 1% charge on properties above a threshold of £2m.

"But the mansion tax is not the only way in which you can make people at the top make a fair contribution to this huge national effort of balancing the books," Clegg said.

"We have already illustrated through capital gains tax, through stamp duty, through tax avoidance and many other measures ... the top 10% pay more and we can do more of that."

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander announced an extra 100 officials will join HMRC's Affluence Unit, set up to combat tax avoidance by people with assets worth more than £2.5m. The unit's remit will also be expanded to encompass people with assets worth more than £1m.

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