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Tax move &#39stigmatises poor areas&#39

Chancellor Gordon Brown&#39s abolition of stamp duty on property transactions in deprived parts of the UK has been branded a “cheap giveaway”.

The Treasury claims dropping stamp duty will revive depressed property markets and encourage families to live in disadvantaged areas.

But mortgage experts say few houses in such areas would be worth over £60,000 – the minimum for a property to incur stamp duty.

They fear regions exempted from the tax will become stigmatised, leaving existing homeowners unable to sell their house. Observers say the real beneficiaries will be landlords who can buy properties in depressed areas at a cheaper rate than before.

The Budget helps them by introducing a 5 per cent reduced rate of VAT for the cost of converting residential properties into a number of dwellings.

London & Country mortgage specialist David Hollingworth says: “It is a green light for landlords and developers to get stuck in.”


Blair and Hague clash over pensions

Prime Minister Tony Blair and Leader of the Opposition William Hague clashed before this week’s budget over Labour taxation of dividends in pension funds.In a stormy clash in the House of Commons during Prime Minister&#39s Question time before the Chancellor rose to give his speech, Hague attacked the Government for slashing the Advanced Corporation Tax […]

Aifa wants FSA to spell out its tree-walking rationale

The FSA says it is willing to consider alternatives to blocking commission payments to IFAs where providers take clients through decision trees, following lobbying by Aifa and IFAs. Aifa has written to the FSA, demanding an explanation of its thinking behind banning commission on stakeholder where clients are taken through trees by life office staff. […]

Funds of surplus

FUNDS OF SURPLUS With effect from the date of Royal Assent of the Finance Bill 2001 any refund of surplus to an employer will be taxed at 35% rather than 40% as at present. This change is long overdue and will restore the differential between the rate of taxation on the withdrawal of pension fund […]

Delivering the package

Many of us know or have known someone who needs care, perhaps a grandparent or elderly relative if not a parent. After all, one in four of us will need some form of long-term care in old age. When care is needed, lives are turned upside down and emotional stress can be placed on the […]


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