Nick Clegg would face 150,000-a-year bill for his official country retreat under his own mansion tax plan
The Deputy Prime Minister is entitled to use Chevening House – worth 15mProperties worth more than 2m would be charged one per cent annual tax
Mail On Sunday Reporter
01:48 GMT, 3 March 2013
02:00 GMT, 3 March 2013
The Deputy Prime Minister shares the use of Chevening House with Foreign Secretary William Hague as a perk of his Cabinet position
Nick Clegg's plan to introduce a mansion tax on expensive properties would mean a charge of 150,000 a year on his country retreat Chevening House, it was revealed last night.
The Deputy Prime Minister is entitled to use Chevening, which has 115 rooms and is set in 3,500 acres of Kent countryside, as a perk of his Cabinet position.
Under the Liberal Democrats’ policy, which will be reaffirmed at the party’s spring conference next weekend, the owners of properties worth more than 2 million would have to pay an annual tax equivalent to one per cent of the value, an idea the Tories have condemned as a ‘tax on aspiration’.
Chevening, built in 1615, has an estimated market value of 15 million and Government sources have confirmed that other grace-and-favour homes used by senior Cabinet Ministers, including the Prime Minister’s country residence Chequers and the Chancellor’s weekend retreat Dorneywood, would also be hit by the charge.
Ministers could make special provision to exempt the homes from the charge, but would leave themselves open to accusations of hypocrisy.
According to the House of Commons Library, council tax at Chevening is the responsibility of the Chevening Trust, which has run the stately home since 1967 when it was left to the nation by Lord Stanhope.
However, last night a spokesman for Mr Clegg said: ‘Council tax is currently paid at Chevening House but it is met by the Government, rather than the trustees.
'Given the current arrangements, if a mansion tax was introduced, it is highly likely there would be no loss of revenue – as it would be paid by the Government to the Government, as is already the case for many other taxes.’
Chevening House, built in 1615, has an estimated market value of 15 million