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Boiler scrappage extension rejected

Pleas for an extension to the boiiler scrapp age scheme have been rejected by Chancellor Alistair Darling.

In his last Budget before the election Mr Darling did introduce measures for housebuilders, but there was no more money for the replacement of G-rated boilers.

The boiler scrappage scheme is now closed to new applicants, the Government said on Friday.
Stamp duty exemption will now be raised from £125,000 to £250,000 for the next two years to help first-time buyers. Mr Darling said the rise in the exemption level would help nine out of 10 first time buyers.

But to pay for it, stamp duty on homes above £1 million will be raised to 5 per cent.

Barratt chief executive Mark Clare said: “87 per cent of our customers pay £250,000 or less for their homes. We are pleased that many of them will now have the opportunity to save
thousands of pounds thanks to this measure which will help strengthenthe housing market.”

In the Budget speech, Mr Darling also made a series of changes to tax. A proposed 3 pence hike in fuel duty will now be phased. It will increase by 1 pence in April, with a 1 pence increase in October this year and again in January 2011.

In his Budget speech, the Chancellor also said that he would not increase the main rate of
capital gains tax, as some had predicted, but would increase “entrepreneurs’ relief”, a relief which allows entrepreneurs to avoid paying CGT below a certain threshold.

He has doubled the threshold to £2 million. Business rates will also be cut, for one year from October. The Chancellor said the move would help half a million small businesses.