Budget “largely” ineffective in helping borrowers

This year’s Budget will be “largely” ineffective in tackling the problems faced by homeowners and those looking to get onto the property ladder, it has been claimed.

Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents, said that chancellor Alistair Darling has “used a water pistol to try to put out a fire”.

Commenting on the introduction of the Homeowner Mortgage Support Scheme – aimed at providing a debt solution to struggling home loan borrowers – he argued that the programme has taken too long to be implemented, with thousands of repossessions going ahead in the meantime.

Although the scheme is to be welcomed, more information is needed on lenders that have not signed up to participate in the initiative, Mr Bolton King noted.

And he criticised the chancellor for failing to abolish the “hated” stamp duty charge, arguing that it is a “tax on aspiration”.

However, HSBC stated that the extension of the stamp duty holiday for properties sold for under £175,000 is good news for buyers.

By Jamie Price

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