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Lucinda Newell - The Super Sleuthing Property Rental Expert - One Woman and Her Dog

To be seen pottering along the highways and byways of Luton in her Mini Clubman, her trusted Scottie Malcolm at her side, our super sleuthing property rental expert Ms Lucinda Newell is on the case on your behalf! Last month I took a slightly off the wall look at the history of the Budget and even the chosen tipple of the Chancellors who delivered them. Of course, we have now had the 2012 Budget and I thought I would highlight what I see as the key points that are likely to affect many of us. Listening to George Osborne (or Boy George as my friend Alice calls him due to his youthful looks) on Budget day actually gave a slightly different impression of what was happening than it turns out was the case. If I am being generous, he told the truth, but if I wish to be Machiavellian, then I feel there were some things where the words spoken did not convey the true impact of what was being said. Now Im not a smoker well not since those teenage days behind the bicycle sheds with a Woodbine or two and therefore to see a whopping 37p go on packet of 20 cigarettes has no impact on me at all. However, I am fond of an occasional sherry (or two) and the announcement of no change to the levels of alcohol duty brought a smile to my face until I realised later that a whole series of increases had already been announced and were in train. Needless to say I had to sit down with a schooner and take a closer look at anything else in the Budget that caught my eye. As a property investor I was naturally interested to see the changes to stamp duty that were announced. Now none of my property portfolio are worth 2 million plus where buyers will now have to pay 7% of the purchase price in stamp duty land tax. I imagine there were some frantic renegotiations where sales were arranged at around the threshold level as another 40,000 plus in tax will be felt by almost anyone! Mr Osborne also announced that purchases in the names of corporate bodies would be taxed at the punitive rate of 15%. This was announced to try and close a loophole that saw people avoiding tax by registering property in the name of an overseas company or trust vehicle. The Government has, unless they change their minds, actually hit people who were not looking to avoid stamp duty but simply are buying in the name of a company or other corporate body. I have some friends who have their property portfolios registered through property businesses. Im sure their lawyers will be looking in detail at what was outlined and, no doubt, seeing an opportunity to generate some more fees as a result! All in all, I seem to have been left relatively unscathed by the Budget this time around. Clearly Mr Osborne had little room to manoeuvre and has rightly attempted to encourage business growth. At my age, my thoughts are becoming a little more exercised at what is happening with pensions but I do understand that everything needs to be paid for and we all have to contribute for the benefit of everyone. At least dog biscuits remained unaffected. Come on Malcolm Walkies!
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