Mortgage tax relief 'must go'
Sunday 06 September 1992
Tim Melville-Ross, chief executive of the Nationwide, said it would be in the longer-term interests of housing if mortgage interest tax relief - which will cost the Treasury pounds 5.8bn this year - were phased out over several years.
However, he argued that first-time buyers should be allowed a temporary increase in the pounds 30,000 ceiling on relief to stimulate recovery in the property market.
In an interview for the Channel 4's Answering Back, to be broadcast tonight, Mr Melville-Ross said it was unsatisfactory that tax relief could be claimed regardless of income. Its removal would cut government borrowing, allowing interest rates to fall.
Accusing the Government of lacking a coherent housing policy, he supported calls for a means-tested benefit for home-buyers with low incomes. He said this would solve the problems of owner-occupiers in arrears.
His views contrast with those of other bank and building society leaders, including Lord Alexander, chairman of National Westminster Bank, and Donald Kirkham, the Woolwich's chief executive, who have argued that the ceiling on relief should be doubled.
However, Richard Best, director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which sponsors independent research into the housing market, said a reduction in the rate of tax relief from 25 per cent to 20 per cent would save the Exchequer pounds 1.2bn a year.
'That alone would cover the cost of a mortgage benefit scheme, enable the Government to give more help to first-time buyers and leave something in hand to stimulate growth in the rented sector,' he said.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Gaza-Israel conflict: The terrible price Palestinian children are paying for Israel’s war with Hamas
Iraq crisis: Government forces execute 255 Sunni prisoners in revenge for Isis atrocities, says report
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...
£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...