Chancellor George Osborne has denied that the stamp duty reforms announced in his Autumn Budget represent a generous ‘giveaway’ to those buying homes. “It’s really more of an out-and-out bribe,” he explained.
The reform will cost public finances around £0.8bn in total, at a time when Osborne admitted the borrowing of £91bn this year was around £4bn more than predicted.
“What George Osborne has done here is quite complicated,” said economic analyst Joanna Fossey. “He’s made the bold decision to give 98% of aspirational home-buyers a few thousand quid in return for voting for the Conservatives at the next election.”
“I do not hide from the House there will have to be very substantial savings in public spending,” said Osborne, throwing wads of money into a crowd of middle-class people. “I just think it’s better that we wait to determine their true extent and put off making them until after the election.”
“Unless it’s welfare, of course,” he said. “Austerity. Belt-tightening. We’re all in this together.”