Budget homes plan loophole

The Treasury has still not explicitly said it will prevent homeowners from using Government-backed mortgage guarantees to buy second homes, after ITV News exposed the loophole. It is also feared the cost of the scheme could be passed onto borrowers.

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Guarantee plan sparks new housing bubble warning

The Government's plan to guarantee billions of pounds of new mortgages could lead to a new house price bubble, some economists are warning.

And independent analysts claim tax rises or deeper spending cuts could follow the next election as the Government struggles to slash the budget deficit.

Watch Business Editor Laura Kuenssberg's report:

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Economist: Loan guarantee 'could push house prices up'

Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said there is a risk that the Government's Help to Buy scheme, designed to make houses more affordable, could have the opposite effect.

Speaking to Economics Editor Richard Edgar, he said: "There is a risk that a lot of this will do more to push prices up rather than making things more affordable."

He added that the policy is a "distributional" one as it helps those without large deposits get on the housing ladder, but in some cases "that's a bigger risk".

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How Osborne's Budget aims to boost home ownership

The big surprise in today's speech was the scale of the Government's attempt to boost home-ownership and growth in the housing market.

From next year, it will guarantee the mortgages of prospective home buyers who are struggling to find a loan and offer help on deposits for first time buyers.

Business Editor Laura Kuenssberg reports:

Changes in personal income tax allowance

Chartered accountants Blick Rothenberg produced this table to show how tax-free income thresholds will change after today's Budget.

The top row shows the amount under 65s can earn tax-free. Credit: Blick Rothenberg

Under 65s can earn their first £10,000 tax-free by the start of the 2014 tax year.

By that point, people earning over £31,865 will enter the 40% higher rate tax band.

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