UK Jewellery Tax Proposed By Liberal Democrats, Incites Controversy

The UK is up in arms over a controversial tax proposal drawn up by Liberal Democrats across the pond which would target all family assets, including heirlooms and jewelry.

Under the new proposal, tax inspectors would be granted unprecedented powers to go into homes and value rings, necklaces, paintings, furniture, and other personal possessions, reports the Daily Mail. Families would then be forced to pay new “wealth” levies on these assets under the threat of steep fines should they refuse the search.

The jewellery tax was called “an interesting idea” by Liberal Democrat MP Tessa Munt last night.

BBC reports that another controversial tax plan being considered involves an extension of the proposed mansion tax, which would include those with “buy to let” and holiday homes. Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party are already committed to the mansion tax on individual properties valued over £2 million.

The jewellery tax is an extension that would kick in not just for property valued over £2 million, but for anyone whose entire estate and possessions could be worth more than £2 million.

Liberal Democrat partners in the Conservative Coalition called the proposal “the politics of envy at their worst.”

Similar schemes are at play in France, as well. Socialist president Francois Hollande more than doubled the main wealth tax rate to 0.55 percent after his election for anyone with a “global fortune” of between £690,000 and £1.1 million. Though such schemes are designed to produce more revenue for ailing European economies, they have been back-firing somewhat as wealthy citizens continue to flee their home countries en masse. Which, of course, is causing some pols not to second-guess their high taxes, but to tax more further down their respective economic spectrums.

What do you think of the UK’s proposed jewellery tax? Should we consider similar proposals here in the US?