Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

BORIS DEMANDS HELP ON HOMES; MAYOR CALLS ON OSBORNE TO DO MORE TO TACKLE THE CRISIS; 'Stamp Duty Is Stamping on Londoners' Fingers as They Go Up the Property Ladder'; 'GIVE TAX BREAKS SO FIRMS CAN OFFER LOANS FOR RENTS'; 'Stamp Duty Is Stamping on Londoners' Fingers as They Go Up the Property Ladder'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

BORIS DEMANDS HELP ON HOMES; MAYOR CALLS ON OSBORNE TO DO MORE TO TACKLE THE CRISIS; 'Stamp Duty Is Stamping on Londoners' Fingers as They Go Up the Property Ladder'; 'GIVE TAX BREAKS SO FIRMS CAN OFFER LOANS FOR RENTS'; 'Stamp Duty Is Stamping on Londoners' Fingers as They Go Up the Property Ladder'

Article excerpt

Byline: Pippa Crerar City Hall Editor, in Manchester

BORIS JOHNSON today demanded George Osborne do more to tackle the housing crisis for millions of Londoners.

The Mayor used his big speech to the Tory conference to challenge the Chancellor to give more help to people desperate to rent or buy homes of their own.

He proposed tax breaks so that employers could offer hard-pressed staff loans to pay for their rental deposits, with the cost off-set against tax.

Mr Johnson -- who admitted he was probably "exceeding his brief" by straying into the Treasury fiefdom -- also condemned the "baleful" impact of stamp duty which was "stamping on the fingers" of people trying to climb the property ladder.

His intervention came as Prime Minister David Cameron opened the door for him to return to Parliament at the 2015 election, guaranteeing that the Mayor will be seen increasingly as a potential leadership rival to Mr Osborne and Home Secretary Theresa May.

Speaking to the conference hall in Manchester, Mr Johnson warned about the "massive affordability gap" in the housing market and his concern that too many ordinary Londoners are now even struggling to raise rental deposits.

He said: "We need to do so much more; we should consider Continued on Page 7 PM: I DON'T KNOW PRICE OF A LOAF FULL STORY PAGES 6 & 7

Continued from Page 1 allowing companies to make taxfree loans for rental deposits, as they can for childcare. George, I hope I am not exceeding my brief if I urge you to look at the baleful effects of stamp duty in London, which is stamping on the fingers of those who are trying to climb the property ladder."

The Mayor, who has said he will deliver 100,000 new homes in the capital by the end of his second term, urged the Government to reduce restrictions on local authorities so they could build more.

He said: "When did Conservatives win huge majorities in this country? It was when they embarked on programmes to build enough homes for people to live, as we did in the Thirties and in the Fifties."

The tax-free loans for rental deposits would operate along similar lines to schemes already in place for childcare including vouchers, directly contracted childcare and workplace nurseries. …

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