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Euro-block on Brown&#39s stamp duty giveaway

A policy devised by the Chancellor for a £1bn cut in stamp duty for some of the most deprived areas in the UK is being blocked by the European Commission.

Gordon Brown had pledged to cut stamp duty entirely on all purchases of commercial property and on house purchases up to £150,000 in 2,000 rundown areas across Britain. The move, announced in last November&#39s pre-Budget Report, was designed to encourage buyers to choose homes in cheaper areas, persuade firms to set up and invest in areas blighted by unemployment and give a boost to first-time buyers. A year later the European Commission has yet to approve the plan, claiming it is an illegal form of state aid.

Property market experts say that tax relief on properties up to £150,000 has done little to kick-start deprived areas. Treasury figures show that just 16,000 purchasers have applied for relief from stamp duty out of 500,000 transactions a year.


Seller&#39s packs and e-conveyancing must work together, says CML

The CML has reaffirmed its support for government aims to speed up house-buying following the announcement of a draft Housing Bill in the Queen&#39s Speech. The CML says it is important not to overstate the potential impact of sellers&#39 packs, and to recognise that they are not a panacea. Other initiatives, such as the National […]

Genesis pursues growth through outsourcing

Packager Genesis Home Loans is to outsource some business as part of its plan to increase mortgage volumes. Genesis managing director Barry Robson says: “We are virtually at full capacity, but we don&#39t want to appoint another 20 underwriters or have to find another 2,000 square feet to put them in. “The margins that we […]

Savills Private Finance offers exclusive two-year discount mortgage

Savills Private Finance has launched an exclusive discounted mortgage. The two-year discount will be offered at an initial pay rate of 3.55%, a discount of 2.4% on the lender&#39s standard variable rate (SVR), which is currently 5.95%. There are no redemption penalties at the end of the two-year period. The minimum loan amount is £100,000 […]

BMS counts benefits of MPPI

Birmingham Midshires Solutions is urging consumers to take mortgage payment protection insurance to safeguard against accident, sickness or unemployment. Figures from the CML show that only 31% of Britons have insured their mortgage payments against the worst happening. The BMS campaign involves flagging up the benefits of MPPI. These include protected mortgage payments if borrowers […]

How to use wills to protect your clients’ wishes

By Ross Jackson, senior protection marketing manager March is Free Wills Month! Free Wills Month brings together a group of well-respected charities to offer members of the public aged 55 and over the opportunity to have their simple wills written or updated free of charge by using participating solicitors in selected locations around England and Wales. Research […]


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