[Re: London Report: House prices set for high point as market surges, yesterday]
David Cameron’s flagship housing scheme – allowing buyers to pay 5 per cent for a deposit on a house – is a reckless policy. The problem in our housing market is a supply-side one, which Help to Buy won’t address. The number of households in England is rising by around 230,000 each year, but construction started on just 100,000 new homes in 2012. Directing more and more credit towards the housing market risks inflating a bubble. Instead, the government urgently needs refocus its attention towards housebuilding.
[Re: It’s time to shred Britain’s complex and punitive tax system, yesterday]
It is worth adding, perhaps, that as well as eliminating loopholes, a flat-rate scheme is far cheaper to collect. Britain loses a higher percentage of its tax take, simply through the complexities of collecting it, than any of our rivals. And the burden on small businesses is particularly onerous. As a small business owner, I greatly appreciated the introduction of flat rate VAT for small turnover outfits like mine around a decade ago. Instead of losing a weekend every three months, I could do the calculations in an afternoon.
BEST OF TWITTER
The reshuffle: women, blue collar Tories and Osbornites rise (not necessarily in that order).
There are 124 seats in Northern and Midlands cities. Of these, Tories hold just 20 – or 16 per cent.
Bank of America: “month-long shutdown could take 2 percentage points off fourth quarter US growth.”
If they need more room at the Cabinet table, closing BIS, DECC and DCMS might help. Thin the herd.