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What would you like to have heard in last week’s Budget speech?

Chancellor Alistair Darling’s first Budget speech last week was delivered amid rising criticism of his handling of the Northern Rock fiasco, Capital Gains Tax reforms and tax breaks for non-domiciles. His pledge to focus on long-term fixed rate mortgages has done little to reassure his critics. So, this week Mortgage Strategy asks…

What would you like to have heard in last week’s Budget speech?

Gordon Brown, 60, retired engineer
Increasing the personal allowance level of Income Tax would have been helpful for people like me because the price of everything seems to be going up. And if the chancellor wants to pursue an environmental agenda, he shouldn’t be an example of gesture politics – it needs to be sustainable.

Anna Jayde-Faaris, 30, project manager
The government should have done more to help pensioners and mothers who want to return to full-time work. I only started working again recently because I was looking after my son at home. I would like to have seen a government scheme to help people in my position.

Luke Carpenter, 31, animator
The Income Tax system should have been overhauled. The design of its tax bandings needs to change because the top 40% band only acts as a tax haven for wealthy business owners. And the government should have looked at Stamp Duty to make it easier for first-time buyers to get on the housing ladder.

David Eage, 49, sales manager
Alistair Darling should have been sacked, along with Gordon Brown. Darling is the worst chancellor in history and Brown should go because he has an appalling record of mismanaging the economy and is not up to the job of being Prime Minister. Both have poured billions of pounds down the drain and public services are no better.

Nathan Ward, 29, courier
This country is too expensive for many goods. We pay too much tax on fuel, tobacco and alcohol – just about every retail product. I’m not a home owner at the moment but a few years down the line I want to get on the ladder, so I’m sad to see measures to help first-time buyers weren’t included in the Budget.

Carl Shore, 31, concierge
I’d have liked to have seen some initiatives to help aspiring first-time buyers in the Budget. I suppose the Stamp Duty relief for shared ownership schemes was a step in the right direction, but I have looked into those sorts of scheme in the past and found they weren’t secure enough for my liking.

Ben Aitken, 21, animator
I was hoping the government would do something more to help students. It scrapped the grants system years ago and now it’s increasing tuition fees. I also think there should be an alternative to shared ownership schemes to help first-time buyers because the deals that are around now don’t appeal to me.

Spencer Harvey, 39, business owner
Both Stamp Duty and Inheritance Tax should have been abolished. IHT is fundamentally unfair. Many people in this country spend their lives building up substantial assets on which they pay tax, only for the government to take back most of their value through IHT.

Gary Wilkes, 26, account manager
The barriers to getting on the property ladder concern me and thousands of individuals throughout the UK. For this reason I’d have liked to have seen Stamp Duty scrapped in the Budget but the government is probably never going to do that because I understand it earns billions from the tax.


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