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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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Increased duty on spirits 'unfair and incomprehensible'

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said it was "unfair and incomprehensible" that the Chancellor increased duty on spirits while cutting beer duty.

The SWA claims the Budget announcement penalises consumers who choose Scotch Whisky over beer.

The Scotch Whisky Association said it was 'unfair and incomprehensible'. Credit: David Cheskin/PA wire

Gavin Hewitt, SWA chief executive, said, "There is no justification for spirits being taxed more heavily than beer".

"It also damages all the good work done to create fairer tax regimes overseas to provide a fairer playing field for Scotch Whisky. It hinders the Government's ambitions for an export-led recovery", Mr Hewitt added.

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