Property tax break a risk to rural housing

A government watchdog has warned that Gordon Brown’s new property tax break
could worsen rural housing shortages by driving up housing prices.

Elinor Goodman, the head of the Affordable Rural Housing Commission, said the
property tax change would drive up property prices in the countryside, The

The new tax break offers savers generous tax breaks on properties bought for
private pensions, which could push housing prices beyond the reach of locals.

‘I think it will be some time to see whether that does have the impact which
some are saying it will. But on the face of it, it does seem contrary to idea of
trying to keep prices down in the country,’ Goodman was quoted as saying.

The tax break, which comes into effect from April 2006, will allow savers to
include residential property in self-invested personal pensions for the first
time. Properties invested in pensions will qualify of a tax rebate of up to 40%.

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