Magazine article Public Finance

News: In Brief

Magazine article Public Finance

News: In Brief

Article excerpt

* Conservative leader Michael Howard dismissed the Budget as a 'vote now, pay later' deal. Warning of impending tax rises, he accused the government of putting the interests of the Labour Party ahead of those of the country.

* The stamp duty threshold was raised from £60,000 to £120,000 to keep pace with rising house prices and help first-time buyers, Brown said. The change, which takes immediate effect will cost £250m but will be funded by the abolition of stamp duty relief on commercial property.

* A Treasury review of the actuarial profession has suggested turning the Government Actuary's Department into a trading fund. The chancellor released Sir Derek Morris's study on Budget day. Morris also recommended increasing choice over actuarial advice to public sector pension schemes.

* Chief Secretary to the Treasury Paul Boateng announced that he will not stand again for Parliament and will become high commissioner to South Africa if Labour wins the coming election. …

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