When the government raised the bar for stamp duty to €317,500 house prices took a jump and suddenly every house was valued at €317,500. This meant that a huge amount of stamp never entered government coffers and many people blamed estate agents. Rightly so, it was a disgrace but it happened and now we can’t reverse time.
Once bitten, twice shy. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice….. (in the words of GW Bush) well…. you’re not gonna fool me twice. Alas, yes, we have been fooled twice, for no sooner had the government introduced extensive increases in mortgage interest relief than they were swooped upon and devoured.
How? By the likes of Ulsterbank who increased their rates (especially the ones available to first time buyers) only the day before. So all of the money that the tax payer spends to suppliment the mortgage interest relief and all of the governments best efforts are once again halted by greed.
Estate agents took a beating over the house price increases when stamp duty was reformed, and developers too as people believed that they increased prices because of this.
But think about this: RBS (royal bank of scoundrels) sorry, type-o on that last word, it was meant to be ‘Royal Bank of Scotland’ made their move a day before the budget. They also cut broker commissions, so now they are threatening thousands of jobs by keeping more money for themselves, they are increasing their rates (they will make insanely more money by doing this) and they are eating up government (and thus taxpayer) euros by doing this.
It was done perfectly because nobody batted an eyelid. The day after the budget they (RBS) then came out and as per an article by RTE (http://www.rte.ie/business/2007/1206/rbs.html?rss) they announce a £1.25 Billion sterling loss.
thats the equivalent of €1.73 billion euro. lets make it a bit more simple: they knew about this loss before the budget so in order to take more money from consumers they
1. cut broker commissions, hopefully removing them from the market, they will now keep the commission for themselves.
2. they hit the consumer, in particular the first time buyer by jacking up their rates
3. they hit the tax payer and the government because these rates will be supported by eating up the new additional mortgage interest relief
I wonder if RBS would give the Irish Government a payoff if they end up having a particularly profitable year? I doubt it (and I’m not saying that because they are Scottish), it just kills me that they are happy enough to gouge us all when they don’t.