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Housing plan could be hit by building blocks

by Mark Harris

Gordon Brown’s final pre-Budget report was a wasted opportunity.

Removing stamp duty on the “vast majority” of new zero-carbon homes is a token gesture. Nothing less than an extensive overhaul of stamp duty would have done – abolishing it for first-time buyers and introducing a tiered system for homeowners.

The Government seems to be addressing the shortage in housing supply, trying to address this in an environmentally friendly way. It is about time but the plan to make all new homes zero-carbon by 2010 is ambitious and the Government may struggle to persuade the construction industry that this is commercially and financially viable.

Helping 160,000 households into homeownership by 2010 with an extension of shared equity is still a drop in the ocean. Extending the scheme to households on lower incomes is welcome.

As for the “competition for lenders to join the scheme”. this is desperately needed, with just four on board. If more lenders sign up, the products will improve, making it easier to get on the ladder.


Halifax calls for Govt to raise IHT threshold

Halifax is calling on the government to raise the inheritance tax threshold to £430,000 and to make a commitment to link the threshold to house price inflation in the future to allow for house price inflation.Research from the lender shows that the combined revenue raised from IHT and the higher rates of stamp duty on […]

Restoring the public’s faith in MPPI

Whether you are an IFA, directly authorised firm or an appointed representative, selling mortgage payment protection insurance has certainly raised a few questions over recent months. Negative headlines in the press have done nothing to install confidence in either adviser or consumer when it comes to selling and buying MPPI. Although MPPI itself has not […]

Protecting protection

Helen Pow looks at why only a small proportion of advisers are writing life business under trust

A&L hits out at Chancellor on stamp duty

Alliance & Leicester has expressed disappointment with yesterday’s pre-Budget report.The mortgage lender had hoped the stamp duty threshold would be reformed to help first-time buyers onto the property ladder.A&L director of mortgages Stephen Leonard says: “Alliance & Leicester is disappointed there was no mention of stamp duty thresholds. Our research reveals that six in ten […]

Get your New Year off to a flying start

Ross Jackson, Senior Marketing Manager There’s no denying that these days we expect things quickly. You might have noticed it first-hand during the flurry and rush of the Christmas period. The fact is that in a world of smartphones, social media and click and collect, most clients expect to get an instant response and a […]


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