Balls seems to have briefed the entirety of his upcoming conference speech already. One of the downsides of doing this before he’s even reached the podium is that it gives his opponents the chance to shoot it down before he’s opened his mouth. Treasury sources are pointing out the HMRC’s own report into the last time Stamp Duty was frozen for first time buyers:
“The tax relief has not had a significant impact on improving affordability for first time buyers. It is estimated that most of the people who benefited would have purchased property in the absence of the relief anyway.”
The only significant impact will be to give Balls at least one policy, however pointless.
It’s well known that Balls still has ‘people’ inside the Treasury and there is plenty of speculation doing the rounds that he had got wind of the 4G auction goodies fund and has pulled a fast one on the Chancellor. Just like George did in 2007 with the inheritance tax threshold hike…