Friday, 14 March 2008

The Budget provides a lifeline for first time buyers – think again!

How many times have you discussed matters with friends, colleagues, strangers on a bus, your imaginary friend and realised you all agree about the same point. Football players, tax, and the budget are all such matters. No matter how many people believe a course of action is the right way to jump, the people at the top stubbornly refuse to accept the wisdom of the masses.

Enter the 2008 budget, which despite the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and others calling for revisions in stamp duty for first time buyers, failed to deliver. The NAEA and others have all been quick to complain about the reluctance of the government to address what it sees as the real issue.

The NAEA claims that stamp duty for first time buyers has doubled over five years and the total stamp duty revenue has risen by 40% in 2006/07. The Budget was the opportunity to help the home buyer and the housing market, but since when has the budget, or the government for that matter, actually helped anyone but itself?

Government websites of course praised the budget and said the policy of building more houses will help people afford their own home in the longer term. How is not explained and I will leave you to form your own opinions on this one.

Yet again, it would appear the government is using the housing market as another taxation stream and the NAEA rightly state that the Chancellor should realise the gravy train is finished. But will the government forego a slice of £6.4 billion in stamp duty? I doubt it very much.

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