Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill or Artificial state manipulation of free market rent?10:34 AM, 6th November 2020
About 4 weeks ago 36
Sharing below my email sent to David Cameron earlier today – perhaps bombarding his Inbox with similar may start to get the message across?
“Dear Mr Cameron
I write to implore you to remove George Osborne from the post of Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The latest debacle and u-turn over cuts to disability benefits is just the latest in a long line of his disastrous budget proposals, from the controversial “pasty tax” in 2012, through the aborted reduction in working tax credits in 2015.
Osborne’s propensity to grab at revenue-raising or cost-reduction ideas without proper consultation or assessment of the consequences would make him a national laughing stock if the implications of his incompetence weren’t so serious.
One such fiscal policy change is the Clause 24 attack on buy-to-let landlords announced in his Summer Budget 2015. This is a ticking time bomb set to turn the current housing crisis into a national disaster with the poorest tenants made homeless as landlords are forced to sell, and the least well-off landlords encumbered with fixed-term mortgages having to pay tax on money which they simply don’t have, it having already been paid to their lender as interest. This will, incredibly, be the only example in the western world of an infinite rate of tax and, more incredibly, it has been introduced by a British Conservative government. It will lead to massive pressure on local authorities to house the newly homeless, landlords made bankrupt by HMRC and a crash in house prices in many parts of the UK, many of which have not yet seen prices fully recover from the 2008 crash.
I should mention here that my husband and I are professional, university graduates in our fifties. We are both lifelong supporters of the Conservative Party and live in the Tatton constituency, we therefore – much to our horror now – voted for George Osborne in the last four general elections. We have a small number of modest but comfortable buy-to-let houses, which we have refurbished and now manage ourselves, with happy long-term tenants. We could never have expected that our decision to plan for our retirement and the future financial security of our children by buying properties would lead to us become the target of an ill thought-out tax raising attack from our own MP.
Surely you will be aware of the long list of voices raised to oppose this tax? This includes: the Treasury Select Committee; the Institute of Fiscal Studies; the Council of Mortgage Lenders; the Institute of Chartered Accountants; the London School of Economics; The Telegraph; Lord Flight; Professor Michael Ball – it is inconceivable that they are all wrong and George Osborne, David Gauke and a group of Treasury officials are right.
Clause 24 was George Osborne’s ill-conceived knee-jerk response to Mark Carney’s warning of the risks to the economy of uncontrolled buy-to-let lending. Now that we have tighter lending criteria and the 3% SDLT levy this is more than sufficient to dampen demand for future BTL borrowing.
It is therefore time to ditch Clause 24, which penalises hard working responsible citizens for past investment decisions. More importantly it is time to ditch George Osborne for making such a complete hash of his job ever since he naively interpreted the unexpected Tory majority as giving him carte blanche to ride roughshod over people’s lives and finances.
One wonders who George Osborne thought he was sneering at when he referred to “landlords” during last year’s Autumn Statement speech – if only he had realised it included a huge number of former Tory supporters who will now never again vote for the Conservative Party.
What a fool – it’s time for him to go.”
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