Brown fails to get it SUSD again

It is perhaps apt that Gordon Brown should deliver his final Budget just a little over one week before the Financial Services Authority\'s Treating Customers Fairly deadline of March 31.

First-time buyers, especially those in London, have hardly been treated fairly. Another missed opportunity to raise the Stamp Duty thresholds means that Mortgage Strategy will continue its three-year campaign against this outdated tax. You can sign up to register your protest to the Treasury to get it SUSD (Step Up Stamp Duty) by visiting www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk and clicking on the SUSD link on the left-hand side.

Meanwhile, the reduction in the basic rate of Income Tax from 22% to 20% means that charities face losing over 75m per year from April 2008. A charity receiving a 10 donation will currently receive a gift aid refund of 2.82. But under the new rate, the same donation will attract a refund of only 2.50 meaning most will miss out on millions of pounds if donations are not upped. Hardly seems fair does it?

So when Saturday comes are you going to be ready? According to recent reports, many in the industry are still way off the mark. But promising news comes this week from The TCF Lender Forum website which can be found at www.tcfinfo.co.uk or following the link on Mortgage Strategy Online.

Most of its regular users have high levels of TCF understanding and will meet the deadline for implementation in a substantial part of their businesses.

The website was launched by a group of specialist lenders last year after a survey showed that almost half of their introducers didn’t understand what to do to implement TCF. Just eight months after its launch, an impressive 90% of research respondents – all regular users – say they fully understand what they need to do while 89% expect to reach the implementation stage in time.

If you’ve not yet looked at the website, Mortgage Strategy advises you to do so today.