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Media criticism building against Osborne's buy to let attacks

More criticism of Chancellor George Osborne’s raft of buy to let reforms has appeared in the mainstream media, with much emphasis being made on how unexpected it has been that a Conservative government should be punishing landlords and small-scale investors.

The Tory-supporting Daily Telegraph has for some weeks been running critical articles, many by personal finance editor Richard Dyson, who has systematically opposed the raft of policies concerning landlords’ mortgage interest tax relief, stamp duty surcharge and other constraints on the buy to let sector.

Now another Tory-supporting newspaper, the Daily Mail, has joined the attack.

Columnist Stephen Glover - who stresses that he derives no income from buy to let - writes in the Mail that George Osborne shares the “idiotic belief” of some others that private sector landlords are greedy and disadvantaging others in the housing market.

Glover - a co-founder of The Independent newspaper back in 1986 - sets out the measures introduced by Osborne and also gives exhaustive statistics on the current size of the private rental sector. 

He then goes on to say: “There can only be one consequence of Mr Osborne’s inexplicable war on buy-to-let landlords. Some of the smaller fry will be driven out of business by punitive taxes and tougher lending rules. If that happens, and the market contracts, rents are likely to go up. Is that what the Chancellor wants?

“Of course, some private landlords are greedy, careless or incompetent. But I’m sure the same could be said about almost any group of people in every walk of life. ...”

He then makes a point already emphasised by many within the property industry: “The villains of this story are not private landlords, who are fulfilling an important need, but successive governments that constantly promise to promote the building of many more houses, but never manage to deliver.”

The full article is here.

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