View more on these topics

Cherie Blair set to fight B2L tax relief cut in court


Cherie Blair is set to challenge the Government’s buy-to-let tax relief changes in court, arguing it breaches human rights.

A campaign started with by two landlords, Steve Bolton and Chris Cooper, has contacted legal firm Omnia Strategy, which is led by the wife of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, for legal opinion and has been told it has a “reasonable chance of success”. The campaign has so far raised over £50,000 via the website Crowd Justice.

Blair’s team has written to HMRC calling for a judicial review of the Government’s policy change, which will see buy-to-let tax relief gradually reduced to the basic rate of tax from April 2017.

The Government’s new policy will prevent landlords with mortgages from offsetting mortgage interest costs against rental profit before calculating tax, which goes against the “fundamental business principle where income less costs equals profit”, argues the legal team.

The legal challenge argues that the Government’s move breaches the European Convention of Human Rights and that it constitutes unlawful grant of state aid to corporate landlords.

Bolton says: “This tax grab is unfair, undemocratic and underhanded, and we believe it is unlawful on a number of points. In no other business are costs wholly incurred to fund the business liable for taxation.

“In addition there is no substantiation in the Government’s proposal that the changes will create a level playing field between homeowners and buy-to-let landlords. The change discriminates against the typically smaller landlord who may incur effective tax rates of over 100 per cent while making an economic loss, and gives an unfair commercial advantage to many other categories of landlord unaffected by the change. We are therefore delighted that our legal challenge has progressed to the next stage and look forward to receiving the Government’s response.”


uk equities

Pension pots spent or held in cash as just 25% pay for advice

Many savers who have accessed their pot since pension freedoms have either spent it all or parked it in a savings account, with just 25 per cent paying for advice. The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association has published its latest wave of research on patterns in retirement following the reforms. Based on an initial survey […]


Challenger bank eyes RBS spin-off Williams & Glyn

Challenger bank Secure Trust is weighing up a bid for Royal Bank of Scotland arm Williams & Glyn, according to City AM. Santander and BBVA are also tipped to bid for Williams & Glyn, which has 300 UK branches. RBS must sell Williams & Glyn by the end of 2017 under the conditions of its […]


Bank of Japan introduces negative interest rate

The Bank of Japan has surprised investors by lowering its interest rates to spur banks to lend amid a weakening economy. The benchmark rate is now at -0.1 per cent meaning commercial banks will be charged by the central bank for some deposits. This will start on 16 February. The central bank, led by Haruhiko Kuroda, […]

Pension - thumbnail

David Cameron appoints former adviser to Tony Blair as new pensions minister

Following a cabinet reshuffle in light of last week’s general election, David Cameron has announced that Ros Altmann will be replacing Steve Webb as pensions minister. As the industry works with one of the largest reforms to the sector in almost a century, the former adviser to Tony Blair has been tasked with ensuring that the pensions revolution does not stray off track.

Life cover for life

Jennifer Gilchrist Proposition Lead – Design, Royal London When someone mentions whole of life plans, most people will think of a niche product that serves as an inheritance tax planning tool for high-net-worth clients. And it’s really not surprising they’ve been pigeonholed in that way because before the arrival of RDR in 2013, that’s more […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There are 9 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. The word ‘discriminates’ gets used a lot these days – I suspect to invoke fear in those on the other side of the argument. One persons ‘discrimination’ can at times be another persons levelling the playing field’.

    The bottom line is surely, unless a business is involved, why should a private investor raising finance to invest in a property be treated any differently to someone who does the same to invest in (for example) shares.

    I fail to see any reason and therefore I also fail to see how this can be discrimination against those who want the tax payer and the banks to support them in their investment endeavours.

  2. Paul your point is spot on!

  3. Another example of where the European Convention of Human Rights is being misused and brought into disrepute by Ms Blair and her cohorts.

  4. I was about to go off on one but was delighted that Paul has hit the nail on the head already. Very efficient.

  5. If two groups of investors, private landlords and corporate landlords, have a taxation advantage over residential occupiers/buyers and the taking away of that advantage from one group constitutes a breach of human rights on the grounds that is discriminates against the looser then simply “level the playing field” and remove the advantage from both! Jobs a good ‘un.

  6. Exactly Paul! Far too often these days Human Rights is banded about to strike fear into any opposition to new laws or processes. Cherie Blair also has a vested interest and therefore conflict of interest being that her and her husband are property investors. B2L has ruined the UK market for those trying to gain a rung onto the housing ladder. Why should an affluent few benefit from the misery of others, snapping up scarce property and pretending it’s a business when it’s nothing more than speculative greed in a highly illiquid asset??

  7. Paul highlights another issue. My friend can borrow money on very favourable terms to invest in property but I cannot do likewise to invest in shares.
    I am feeling discriminated against

  8. The campaign has raised £50,000 so far. Surely that won’t pay Mrs. Blair’s fee?

  9. Human Rights?! There are people without homes at all, displaced by a war that someone she knows may have had something to do with…I thought she was a good Christian?

Leave a comment


Why register with Money Marketing ?

Providing trusted insight for professional advisers. Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

Money Marketing Events
Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

Research and insight
Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

Have your say
Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

Register now

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm