Daily Archives: April 8, 2012

Jim Pickard

The run-up to local elections is always characterised by a playing down of expectations: as Ed Miliband has proved this week.

Miliband claimed Labour was now the party for “Middle Britain” last week at the launch of Labour’s campaign in Birmingham, a city the party wants to win back from a joint Tory/LibDem administration.

His aides say that 300 to 350 seats won would count as a victory on May 3, but this seems to be far lower than they might reasonably expect. Read more

Jim Pickard

For those who didn’t get a chance to read yesterday’s FT here is a link to my exclusive about lawyers finding new ways to dodge the 7p stamp duty rate – which was introduced in last month’s Budget. The new duty was a compromise which fell some way short of the Lib Dems’ “mansion tax” idea; its political importance is that it was presented as a move to counteract the 50p tax rate cut.

If buyers find legal ways to get around the 7 per cent levy then that political argument may start to unravel, as we explain here. Read more