CML issues pre-Budget 'wish list'

The report proposes an early review of the timetable and rules for mortgage regulation, to ensure that proposals for disclosure of information by mortgage brokers are feasible and cause no adverse effects on the development of mortgage securitisation.

The proposals are:

- A freeze on stamp duty, and a review to introduce a fairer system that would create less distortions in the market.

- A reduced VAT for home improvements and repairs, which would provide an incentive to improve the quality of the UK's housing stock.

- An increase in spending on flood defences, which would be at least in line with the recommendations of the appraisal of assets at risk carried out earlier in 2001 by the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

- An initiative by lenders, the Treasury and other Government departments that would encourage the development of products allowing people to draw on wealth in their homes to provide an income in old age.

- The introduction of further measures to address problems caused by the lack of supply of housing in some geographical areas and the low demand for it in others.

- The introduction of measures to smooth the impact on householders of Government plans to revalue property for council tax purposes.

- The launch of a housing credit scheme covering home-owners, as part of the Government's work on implementing a comprehensive tax credit system.

Peter Williams, deputy director general of the CML, said: “A healthy housing market helps promote a flexible and adaptable economy, as well as making an important contribution to economic activity overall and to consumer confidence. Our proposals seek to enhance this potential and remove some of the barriers that the wrong sorts of policy initiatives can create."