Ah, the joys of Spring. Hosts of waving daffodils, cheery birdsong – and a mini Budget update. If the country is to emerge from its collective wintry torpor then Mr. Hammond has to grow up, be a man and cut the Stamp Duty monster down to size. The problem stems from the clumsy ‘revision’ of the Stamp Duty escalator. Not only does it bend the Residential Property Market out of shape, but it is now costing the Treasury a £1billion per annum or more to sustain.
Like many government ‘ideas’, it reeks of incompetence and failure (thank you, George Osborne for this legacy). Prospective purchasers above a £1million, i.e. mostly in London, are being hit by a slew of aggravated tax costs. Not surprisingly, transaction numbers have been curtailed by 70% and any liquidity in the market has turned to stodge. This tax is perfectly collectable, but easily avoided – as long as you don’t do anything so ridiculous as move house.
The mad hatters’ tea party must have finished early. The ‘guests’ are treating us to a revolting spectacle of Tory ministers leaning heavily on the Prime Minister, pressuring her to remove the ‘no deal’ from the menu. They seem to have drunk deeply from the idiot cup and are gorging themselves to a large slice of egotism. I know they’re politicians, but this really isn’t the time to grub for personal acclaim.
The no deal option is an essential tool in order to extract the best compromise on the backstop from the EU and could well provide the necessary amendment to bring the likes of the ERG rabble on board, if not some of the soft remainers. Read more
The latest belch of warm air from the government’s Climate Change Advisory Body claims that developers have been cheating on energy efficiency standards, resulting in owners paying over the odds for their energy bills.
The answer to this could only have come from bureaucrats getting high on quango fumes. In order to help Britain’s legally binding emissions target objectives, gas boilers and cookers are to be banned from new homes within six years. Developers will be forbidden from connecting new homes to the gas grid and forced to install low-carbon heating systems such as heat pumps combined with extra insulation. This would cost up to £5000 more for each home.