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Lenders escape stealth tax

The Chancellor&#39s decision not to increase stamp duty on residential property has surprised commentators who believed a hike was in the offing to moderate the booming housing market and generate Government income.
Overall the move has been welcomed and will relieve the Council of Mortgage Lenders which had accused the Government of using it as unfair &#39stealth tax&#39 on homebuyers.
Market analyst John Wriglesworth says a big increase would have “killed the market” while a smaller increase would be no more than a “dirty trick” to raise money.
However Charcol senior technical manager Ray Boulger says he have liked a reform of how it is calculated, rather than the status quo.
He says many borrowers are put-off buying a house even slightly over £250,000 because of the immediate hike in duty to 3 per cent from 1 per cent and argues incremental increases would be fairer.
The Chancellor also announced a clampdown on loopholes used to avoid stamp duty on property transactions which experts believe will hit property investment portfolios.
The reformed regime will include a mandatory tax on deals currently structured to avoid stamp duty. It will also be triggered automatically on all transactions over £10 million.
The move will affect providers offering property funds such as Norwich Union, Standard Life Investments and Threadneedle, by increasing charges incurred in transactions.
Independent mortgage consultant Mark Chilton says: “Before the Budget Scottish Widows set up an Isa investing in property funds. This will be unaffected as the transaction has been done but replicas will be difficult.”


Pension planning

The myth that the British are a nation of savers has been firmly laid to rest in a survey which shows that the culture of spend, spend, spend seems to be here to stay.A recent report suggests the “combined pension statement”, which was designed by the Department for Work and Pensions and private providers to […]

AbbeyNat offers free MPPI cover via registered IFAs

IFAs registered with Abbey National can offer clients three months&#39 free mortgage payment protection in a deal with Abbey National Insurance.The deal is available up to June 30 for brokers making applications for a Paymentcare accident, sickness or involuntary unemployment policy starting before December 31.The offer is open to borrowers, including those who already have […]

Scott Dolfi

Born: New York stateAge: 39Lives: Notting Hill with his wife and three childrenEducation: BS Engineering and Management, Clarkson University, New York. MS Industrial and Management Engineering Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteCareer: 1985-89 TRW Inc project manager on management associates programme. 1989-1997 GE Commercial Real Estate Financing & Services asset manager then managing director of quality. 1997-99 GE […]

Company cars and mileage rates

COMPANY CARSIn order to protect the environment, changes have already been made to increase the tax charges on company cars. There are those that have applied since 6 April 1999 and those that will apply from 6 April 2002. These are explained in detail in the Appendix. In addition to these changes the Chancellor has […]

William Littlewood “betting that QE won’t work”

Journalist Alexis Xydias interviews Artemis manager William Littlewood about his views on bond, equity and currency markets and the impact of a Greek exit from the EU. With bond yields at “ludicrous” levels, William believes a tipping point for bond markets is sure to come. As a result, his Strategic Assets Fund holds government bond shorts to the tune of 100 per […]


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