EU calls on Britain to raise taxes on high-value homes

The European Commission has called on Britain to raise taxes on higher value properties, build more houses, and consider "adjusting" the Help to Buy scheme

European Commission recommendations for the UK

The European Commission has angered a number of British politicians by offering recommendations on how the British economy could be improved.

The measures set out by the Commission include:

  • raise council tax for those in the most expensive homes
  • increase the housing stock by creating "appropriate incentives" to build homes
  • monitor house prices and "adjust" the Help to Buy scheme if necessary
  • prioritse spending on infrastructure to boost the economic recovery
  • streamline the qualification system to help improve the skills base

Video: Nick Clegg says EU should avoid 'lectures' to member states

John Baron: 'Thank but no thanks' for EU advice

Conservative MP John Baron has the EU should have "more pressing concerns" than offering the UK advice on how to manage its affairs.

Mr Baron, a prominent eurosceptic, was reacting after the EU made a series of recommendations for the UK, including increasing council tax on expensive homes and tweaking the Help to Buy scheme.

Read: EU calls on Britain to raise taxes on high-value homes

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Nick Clegg: EU should focus on reforming itself

Nick Clegg has said that the EU should focus on reforming itself rather than offering "lectures" to member states.

The Deputy Prime Minister was speaking after the EU offered the British government a series of policy recommendations, including raising council tax on high-value homes, building more houses and adjusting the Help to Buy scheme.

Read: EU calls on Britain to raise taxes on high-value homes

Treasury: EU housing call 'in line' with UK approach

European Commission calls for the UK to raise taxes on expensive homes, build more housing and "adjust" the Help to Buy scheme are "in line" with government policy, a Treasury spokesman has said.

"The European Commission continues to support the UK Government's strategy including its commitment to deficit reduction. The Commission's recommendations are in line with the Government's approach," the spokesman said.

Read: Tax expensive homes more

EU: Tax expensive homes more

General view of a construction site for residential houses in Great Barr, Birmingham. Credit: PA Images

The European Commission has called on Britain to raise taxes on higher value properties, build more houses, and consider "adjusting" the Help to Buy scheme

The European Union's executive body urged the Government to reform the "regressive" council tax system as taxes are relatively higher on low value homes than high value ones.

Setting out its 2014 economic policy recommendations for the UK, the commission also urged the coalition to bring more people into paying tax to aid deficit reduction which has so far been "heavily skewed" to spending cuts.

The recommendations may rankle with some in the wake of Eurosceptic Ukip's victory in the European elections and Prime Minister David Cameron's assessment of the EU as "too big, too bossy, too interfering".