Mansion tax 'fudge between coalition'

Labour is expected to use today's Commons opposition day debate to force a vote on leader Ed Miliband's proposals for a mansion tax on homes worth more than £2m, which he said would be used to raise money to reinstate the 10p starter rate of income tax.

It is a policy that divides the coalition, with the Liberal Democrats very much in favour and the Conservatives vehemently against.

Many of their supporters based in south east England would be affected.

Yesterday on the Today programme Vince Cable stopped short of ruling out voting with Labour saying his party would examine the motion before deciding whether to support it.

Cathy Jamieson, the shadow economic secretary to the Treasury, told Today programme 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.

She described a discrepancy between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative opinion on the mansion, saying that the issue was a "fudge between the coalition parties".

Brandon Lewis, a Conservative local government minister, explained that this tax is "not practical to deliver" and said that he was in favour of a tax that "doesn't penalise pensioners and people... who have saved up and have bought a home".

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Tuesday 12 March 2013.