UK homebuyers will no longer have to pay an unpopular extra tax on properties costing less than two hundred and fifteen thousand Euros. Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced a one year exemption scheme as part of a package of measures to boost Britain’s ailing housing market:
‘‘Home owners need to know that we’ll do everything we can to keep the housing market moving forward, help with stamp duty, help with first time buyers, help to build more social housing, help to take unsold properties off the housing market and help with people who get into difficulties,’‘ said the Prime Minister.
With Brown’s government trailing 15 points in the polls, opposition parties have criticised the move as a cynical ploy to buy some popularity:
‘‘This is a rescue plan for the Brown government more than it’s anything to do with helping hard pressed home owners,’‘ said Conservative Shadow Housing Minister Grant Shaps.
‘‘This is not about doing sensible things for housing, this is about Gordon Brown saving his own political skin,’‘ said Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesman Lord Oakeshott.
With house prices reportedly falling at their fastest rate since the early 1990s the Brown government will be hoping to revive public confidence, much of which has been dented by the global credit crunch and high energy prices.