News from the Conservative Conference so far

Now that the Conservative conference has concluded, we have picked out the three major property related announcements:

1. No Mansion Tax

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Prime Minister David Cameron both made it very clear that no form of ‘Mansion Tax’ was going ahead. Mr Osborne explained that such a tax would, in his mind, inevitably become a ‘home tax’ and would be applied to more and more properties, punishing homeowners. He stressed that the Conservatives still strongly support homeownership and would endorse no such taxation.

2. Welfare ‘Culture Shift’

Ian Duncan-Smith announced that the Coalition Government would bring about a complete ‘cultural shift’ in terms of welfare benefits, to stop over reliance on Government handouts.

The work and pensions secretary told the Conservative conference the country was on “a journey back from dependence to independence”.

He added that planned housing benefit cuts should lead to more people looking for work, following Chancellor George Osborne’s speech which promised an extra £10bn of welfare spending cuts to come in by 2016-17.

The true affect of these changes to property is as yet unknown. Some commentators have indicated, however, that there will no doubt be an impact on the rental incomes of low value property landlords

3. Disproportionate Force – Defending your home

Greater protection from the law will be afforded to those who defend their homes from intruders using physical force, according to Justice Secretary Chris Grayling. This departs from the more moderate views of his predecessor Ken Clarke and will mean that householders can use ‘disproportionate’ force in certain circumstances to defend their homes.

This is as opposed to the current status of ‘proportionate’ force, which is extremely difficult to determine and can lead to what some might call unfair prosecutions.

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