Comedian and TV executive Griff Rhys Jones and is the latest celebrity multi-millionaire to have a whinge about Ed Balls’ proposed Mansion Tax. Apparently it’s all just so unfair — because the central London property was a “slum” when he bought it 15 years ago:

“It would mean I’d be paying the most colossal tax, which is obviously aimed at foreigners who have apparently come in and bought up all the property in London

“I’d probably go and live abroad because I could get some massive palace which I could restore there.

Well. When Rhys Jones says “slum”, what he actually means is a 13,000 square foot, Grade I listed, 7-bedroom terrace by neoclassical architect Robert Adam, set over five floors and overlooking a leafy square in Zone 1.

Here’s a picture of the outside of the slum, before Rhys Jones bought it for £1.45m in 1998 and converted it from offices into a “grand main family residence”:

Griff Rhys Jones' mansion

To be fair, however, it does looks like a pretty rough neighbourhood:

Griff Rhys Jones' mansion

Here’s what the interior looks like after they threw at least £465,000 at it:

Griff Rhys Jones' mansion

“Notable aspects of the scheme included excavations for the pool and the associated preservation of the listed vaulted cellars under the mews building, and the reconstruction of a stone clad staircase using Portland limestone with wrought iron balustrading and hand rails terminating in structural glass entrance screen and a sliding glass door between the pool room and the gymnasium.

But, obviously, this is all just a joke. His comments were clearly meant to be IRONIC and FUNNY.

He’s still got it!

  1. Trish Wilkinson (@SlashWilko) says:

    When people are having their last few quid taken, in ‘spare room subsidy’, I fully believe that very wealthy people-with more money than they’ll need in this lifetime-should also give something back to make a fairer society…however,widows/heirs with little income should be exempt from the tax as long as they live in the property.

  2. I don’t agree with the bedroom tax or the mansion tax. Although taxes based on property are needed, it’s lazy thinking by politicians to lump more taxes in this area. Govt should be more focused on helping people find homes, rather than screwing people for more cash.

  3. Jonathan Stiles says:

    Well I used to live in Fitzroy Square, just along from Mr Jones abode, and it was a lot cheaper then, 5 Guineas a week, and two meals a day. Good value methinks. From memory Mr Jones abode was some sort of nursing home, far more practical.

  4. Jonathan Stiles says:

    Well I used to live in Fitzroy Square, just along from Mr Jones abode, and it was a lot cheaper then, 5 Guineas a week, and two meals a day. Good value methinks. From memory Mr Jones abode was some sort of nursing home, far more practical.
    I havent

  5. The low interest rate is there to help counteract negative equity and the downturn in the property market felt by many across the country. London hasn’t had a downturn but benefits from interest rates being lowered.

    Can’t remember hearing Jones or any of his other celebrity chums saying “let me continue to pay interest on my mortgage at my existing rate as the recession hasn’t affected me”. They want everyone to be the equal only when it suits them. Selfish!

  6. Asset rich but cash poor can trade down to a £1,900,000 mansion. Avoid the tax and put a few quid in the bank. Bingo! No longer cash poor.

  7. Thanks for that Adrian Bailey…you don’t like ‘X’ and you don’t like ‘Y’ and have no useful suggestions on how to solve ‘Z’. It might be ‘lazy’ thinking but the fact that many people who will not even come under this new tax still oppose it means that for whatever else it is, it is at least brave.

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