Other interesting Budget reactions
Is It Fair founder Christine Melsom has branded the Budget's one-off GBP200 council tax refund a pre-election bribe. "The refund for pensioners is an obvious attempt to buy pensioners votes", she said, speaking to the Sunday Telegraph (Money, p4) on behalf of the council tax protest group. "While we are fully aware of the difficulties faced by many pensioners, and welcome any help for them, there was no help for the many hard working families who have struggled for years to keep up with the relentless inflation-busting hikes in council tax."
Gordon Davidson, the joint managing director of Jupiter, welcomed the Budget announcement that the existing Isa limits will be extended until 2010 - a year longer than had been expected. However, speaking to the Sunday Telegraph (Money, p4), Davidson said that it was not all good news for savers. "On the one hand, the Government has said it wants to encourage greater saving but at the same time it has made it less attractive to do so by abolishing the dividend tax credit."
The Council for Mortgage Lenders has calculated that the doubling of the threshold at which stamp duty is payable from GBP60,000 to GBP120,000 will do little to help people get on the housing ladder (Sunday Times, Money, p7). Last year 83% of first-time buyers paid stamp duty. The figure is expected to fall to about 48% as a result of the chancellor’s decision - still much higher than the 22% who paid when Labour came to power.