Investment column, page 23
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Hard times ahead: Duncan Davidson, chairman of housebuilder Persimmon, is considering scrapping the company's contribution to the Tories. He called on the Government yesterday to reverse changes to mortgage income tax relief and to abolish stamp duty. His plea came as the company kicked off the builders' reporting season with a 10 per cent fall in half-year pre-tax profits to pounds 10.2m. The shares tumbled 17p to 175p.