Tuesday, September 02, 2008
New Labour's first sterling crisis - housing "rescue" package
Posted by David Smith at 10:00 AM
Category: Thoughts and responses

Alistair Darling's confusing but ultimately gloomy weekend message has continued to weigh on the sterling, pushing it to below $1.79 and to 1.23 against the euro. This government has not had to deal with a sudden loss of confidence in the pound before. Labour hasn't since the 1970s.

Also, the centrepiece of the housing rescue package appears to be a suspension of stamp duty on properties up to 175,000 for a year. It doesn't sound much, and isn't, but is above the average property price on the Nationwide's measure. It also announced other measures, notably an extension of shared equity schemes and purchases of unsold properties for social housing. Details here.