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Clegg promising independent advice on repossessions

LibDem leader Nick Clegg has promised to make financial advice compulsory when repossession claims are issued.

Clegg insists the advice would have to be indepen-dent, whether provided by the Citizens Advice Bureau or IFAs, but has not confirmed who would foot the bill.

Speaking to a City of London audience last week, Clegg said if the rise in repossessions became an epidemic, it would “turn a housing market slowdown into a full-on slump”. He said banks should agree practices to prevent large-scale repossessions, such as “allowing those in arrears because of circumstances beyond their control to move to shared ownership arrangements”.

Clegg said controlling public spending was his top priority, announcing plans to rein in public sector pay deals and pensions. He also suggested moving the Treasury out of London. He said the LibDems would concentrate on boosting public services with existing spending plans because it did not have “spare money to pour into public services”.

He called for the fiscal rules should be monitored independently rather than having the Government “marking its own exam papers” and he repeated LibDem calls to cut income tax by 4p.

Clegg said the Bank of England needs to take housing costs into account when measuring inflation because currently it “cannot act to counteract pressures that cause prices to spiral or to counteract a potential crash”.

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