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Economic nonsense from the Chancellor

Three of the measures in the 2010 Budget today prove conclusively that neither the Chancellor nor, probably, those who advise him, have the foggiest idea what they are doing. He announced that

  • empty properties with a rateable value of less than £18,000 will be exempt from paying business rates in 2010/11.
  • business rates will be cut from October 2010 in a bid to help small businesses through the recession.
  • stamp duty for first-time home buyers on purchases up to £250,000 will be scrapped, and it will be increased to to 5% for residential properties over £1m.