Please Note: This Article is 2 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has said he wants to see people with high end properties paying the “mansion tax” within the current financial year, 2015-2016.

Implementing a mansion tax on homes worth over £2m would be one of the first acts of an incoming Labour government next May, Ed Balls has revealed.

In an interview with The Independent newspaper in December last, the shadow Chancellor said he hoped that the 100,000 people with the most expensive properties would start to pay the levy in the 2015-16 financial year, even though that starts in April, a month before the May general election.

This commitment was confirmed yesterday by Ed Milliband in a speech to nurses in Manchester when he said that Labour would introduce the mansion tax within its first 100 days in power. The tax to be levied on owners of homes valued at £2m and over would be part of Labour’s ‘emergency package’ the proceeds of which would be used to fund the recruitment of 1,000 extra trainee nurses.

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“With A&E in crisis, staff shortages, and hospitals weighed down by large deficits, this plan has to start immediately. Straight away.” He said. “With real money, right now. In our first 100 days, our first Budget, our first year in office, we’ll begin to bring in funds from the mansion tax and tobacco levy.  And we will use that money to support the NHS with our immediate Rescue Plan.” Miliband said.

Property agencies in London estimate the number of properties valued at £2m and above to be in the region of 100,000 with around 80 per cent of these being on London and the south east of England.

Ed Balls, who has asked the Treasury to start preparations for the new tax before the election, says he will commence working on the mansion tax on “day one”, to be included in his first Budget to raise £1.2bn for immediate injection into the NHS.

Balls told The Independent newspaper: “Saving the NHS will be at the heart of our first Budget,” he said. “I would like to see that revenue coming in in the first year of a Labour government, before the end of the financial year. We will have to see the practicalities.”

Confirming that any legislation brought in would not be retrospective, Balls said: “A charge is paid in that [financial] year on the valuation on a date in that year. We will be clear what we are going to do in our manifesto. No one will have any doubt about our intentions.”

He said that this is not without precedent as the incoming Blair Government imposed a £5bn windfall tax on the privatised utilities seven months after a May election.

Please Note: This Article is 2 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

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