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Week in Westminster - 11 August 2017

Week in Westminster

Published: 14 August 2017

Amid media speculation at the weekend the Government has reaffirmed its commitment to Help to Buy. A Cabinet minister has warned that Stamp Duty Land Tax is hampering economic growth. Stricter laws have been proposed as part of the Data Protection Bill. And the Bank of England cites Brexit as a potential financial stability risk.

Housing

On Monday, the Department for Communities and Local Government issued a statement reaffirming its commitment to the Help to Buy equity release scheme until 2021. The statement went on to say the Government recognises the need to create certainty for prospective home owners and developers beyond 2021, and will work with the sector to consider the future of the scheme. The statement came following reports over the weekend that the London School of Economics will be reviewing the Help to Buy scheme, sparking fears that the scheme would end early.

According to a report in the Telegraph, an anonymous Cabinet minister has called for urgent reform of Stamp Duty amid fears that rates are preventing older people from downsizing and making room for growing families. The Minister is demanding action at the Autumn Budget, warning that the situation could be hampering economic growth.

Data protection

The Government has published its Statement of Intent for the Data Protection Bill. The Bill will include new measures will give the public greater control over their personal data, including the right to be forgotten. The legislation will bring the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation into UK law, and is expected to begin its passage through Parliament in September.

Brexit

The Bank of England has warned that Brexit could pose a “material risk” to its work as a financial stability regulator, according to the Guardian. Deputy Governor for Prudential Regulation Sam Woods has written to Treasury Committee Chair Nicky Morgan warning that leaving the EU will make it harder for the Bank to regulate the City, as it will increase demand on resources, potentially necessitating some “difficult prioritisation decisions”. The Deputy Governor also expressed support for calls for an implementation period, which he said would help firms to deal with Brexit in an “orderly” way.