The Mansion tax on properties worth over £2m was rejected by chancellor George Osborne this week, who said “We don’t think people who have worked hard and saved up to buy a home, should be clobbered with a mansion tax.”
Shapps was also forced to defend the government’s proposals to drop the Mansion tax but cap housing benefit for 25-year olds, potentially forcing people to continue living at home.
Shapps said: “The bill has doubled for housing benefit. The question is, when are you going to agree that we have to stop spending money?”
Caroline Flint, shadow secretary of state for energy and climate change said of the 385,000 housing benefit claimants, 17% claimed housing benefit to allow them to work, 7% were sick or disabled and 50% have dependent children, so refusing housing benefit on principal would cause social harm.
MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark Simon Hughes denied the Lib Dems, including Nick Clegg, would endorse the housing benefit cap at any point.
After an audience member suggested current government housing policy looks like a concerted attack on UK youth, fellow guest, writer and poet Benjamin Zephaniah said: “I imagine, to the young, the world looks like it is repeatedly bashing them for something they had nothing to do with.”