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Press watch: ‘Tax grab on London’s top homes’

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‘George Osborne will on Wednesday stage a tax grab on London’s booming top-end property market, in a Budget which will offer significant cuts in the taxes paid by business and low and middle income families. Mr Osborne will confirm he is cutting the top rate of income tax from 50p to 45p, but the wealthy will be hit by a punitive array of higher levies on the purchase of expensive homes and a crackdown on avoidance schemes.

‘The chancellor will introduce a new 7% stamp duty rate on sales of property above £2m, according to officials involved in the Budget, as new figures revealed that sales of homes worth more than £5m in the capital soared by 98 per cent in the first 11 weeks of the year to £723m.’

Financial Times, 21 March 2012

‘Lib Dems win stamp duty rise for scrapping of 50p rate of tax’

‘Wealthy individuals are to face a rise in stamp duty on properties worth more than £2m, as George Osborne helps fund a demand from Nick Clegg to remove taxation altogether from 2 million of Britain's lowest paid workers over the course of this parliament.

‘In a victory for the Liberal Democrats, who have reluctantly accepted abolition of the 50p top rate of tax, the chancellor will announce in the budget that stamp duty is to be raised from 5% to 7% on properties worth more than £2m.

‘The rise will help the chancellor raise an extra £2.2bn to meet the Lib Dem target of raising the personal income tax allowance to £10,000 from 2014, a year earlier than planned.’

The Guardian, 21 March 2012

‘£2bn spending cut funds tax breaks for 20 million Britons’

‘As the centrepiece of the Chancellor’s Budget, the tax-free personal allowance is expected to rise to about £9,000 in April 2013, an increase of more than £1,000 from the current level.

‘The move will cut the tax bills for anyone earning less than £100,000 by £179 annually and will lift two million people out of paying tax. Mr Osborne is expected to announce that the tax-free allowance will then rise again to £10,000 in April 2014 – saving most taxpayers another £250 annually – a year earlier than planned. To offset this tax break, tax loopholes and reliefs used by the wealthy will be closed.

‘There will also be an unexpected cut in spending of up to £2b to fund the tax reduction, The Daily Telegraph has learned.’

Daily Telegraph, 21 March 2012

‘Don’t be a fool … cut fuel’

‘Struggling Brits have issued a final desperate plea to George Osborne ahead of his Budget today — tame soaring petrol prices with a fuel duty cut.

In an exclusive YouGov poll for The Sun, more than three quarters of the country — 77% — said they wanted to see the Chancellor slash the crippling levy.’

The Sun, 21 March 2012

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