It’s probably uncharitable to point out that there’s a YouTube movie on Guido’s blog in which (if you have the stomach for it) you can see the Chancellor picking his nose during yesterday’s PMQs. It’s probably uncharitable but you could say the same about Mr Brown’s Budget speech. Greg Clark MP, Shadow Charities Minister, has just released a press release that notes that the cost to charities of yesterday’s 2p cut in income tax will be £70m. Greg Clark MP commented:
“The Chancellor’s Budget has conned Britain’s charities. In his Budget speech he was cowardly enough to make no mention of the fact that his tax changes will hit hardest Britain’s good causes. Gordon Brown must have known about this, but instead he kept quiet and hoped no-one would notice. It is typical that in robbing Britain’s charities, the Chancellor made no provision to protect them from the impact of this sting.”
As is always the case with Gordon Brown’s Budgets the devil is in the detail. Tonight’s main story in the London Evening Standard notes that homebuyers in the capital are being hit by a £3.4billion rise in stamp duty bills. London homebuyers now pay an average £8,615 in stamp duty compared to just £1,795 five years ago. This massive increase in tax reflects the Chancellor’s failure to raise the higher stamp duty thresholds in line with inflation. A spokesman for the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors told the Standard:
"The Chancellor should have raised the bottom threshold of £125,000 to at least £150,000 in order to help first-time buyers on to the housing ladder given that up-front housing costs are a key issue for many buyers."