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Not much fun as the party games begin

Overexcited politicians have come up with plenty of ideas that will affect the housing and mortgage sectors, some of which are old, some bad and some confusing, to put it kindly

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Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats opt for attractive-sounding rhetoric without much substance, with phrases like “we want to hard-wire fairness into society” and “we will reform consumer law to improve the ability of people to access and secure goods and services affordably, efficiently and on fair terms”. I’m not sure what any of that means but it gives you a flavour.

The Lib Dems are keen to rebuild the Post Office, and have detailed plans to extend the network as well as give the organisation the ability to raise private capital by selling 49% of its shares and using the cash to reinvest in the business.

At the same time it wants to give Post Office employees an opportunity to own a stake in the remaining 51%, as well as give it the ability to borrow privately by removing the present restrictive Treasury controls.

The party is also keen to adopt the Labour options of ending bank bonuses, breaking up banks and racking up taxation for higher earners.
The Lib Dems say they want to remove layers of red tape from business and introduce sunset clauses – nothing to do with business owners selling up but more about giving certain regulations and elements of legislation expiry dates.

In an anti-European move the Lib-Dems want to end the easy ride that European directives currently benefit from by ensuring a full cost-benefit analysis is carried out before new legislation in enacted. This could mean a dilution of our current position in the EU, although unsurprisingly the party has not clarified that aspect yet. But in a hung parliament who knows what could happen? It is widely believed that the Lib Dems would hold the balance of power.

Oh well, at least all the political activity should provide a welcome distraction from the gloom of recession for a few weeks.

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ROBERT WINFIELD, MANAGING DIRECTOR, CHARTWELL FUNDING

A deposit scheme would open doors

I have spent some time analysing chancellor Alistair Darling’s recent Budget and feel he missed a trick. With the housing market acting as a lifeline for many businesses he could have generated revenue by launching a deposit loan scheme targeting first-time buyers, similar to the deal previously offered to key workers. He could have launched […]

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