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pounds 20-A-MONTH MORE ON YOUR MORTGAGE.

Tax relief on mortgages is set to be slashed in the Budget on Wednesday.

Chancellor Gordon Brown is to phase out the perk, which saves10 million mortgage payers pounds 30 a month.

He says ending MIRAS - Mortgage Interest Relief at Source - will slow down the housing boom . And it will help reduce the bias in the tax system in favour of homeowners against people who pay rent.

Employment Minister Andrew Smith said yesterday: "The Budget will give hope to youngsters.

"That's not only good for young people, it's good for the whole country."

Abolishing MIRAS would raise pounds 3billion for the Treasury but the Chancellor is expected to phase it out gradually.

That could mean raising mortgages by pounds 20 a month.

Mr Brown has vowed not to raise income tax rates. And his Budget will fulfil Labour's pledge to cut VAT on fuel from eight to five per cent.

VAT on insulation materials may be cut to boost energy efficiency.

The Chancellor wants to introduce 10p income tax rate to help the low- paid. But he faces pressure to raise taxes to cool the overheating economy.

Mr Brown also needs to fill a pounds 20billion "black hole" left by ex-Chancellor Ken Clarke's optimistic spending plans over the next five years.

So duty on petrol and fags is set to rise.

Some experts predict Mr Brown will double the stamp duty on property purchases above pounds 60,000.

Tax relief on private health insurance faces the axe and employers may have to pay more National Insurance.

Shadow Chancellor Peter Lilley claimed: "Gordon Brown is behaving like a takeover merchant about to asset-strip a company. He's downgrading forecasts, writing down assets and planning to jack up bills."
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Author:Woodward, Will
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 30, 1997
Words:286
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