Estate agents angrily reject Chancellor’s mansion tax proposals

first_imgChancellor Sajid Javid has revealed plans to introduce a ‘mansion tax’ in his March 11 budget that would see owners of prime properties either pay an annual property tax based on a percentage of a its value or for their home to be included within a new, more expensive council tax band.The proposals, which have the blessing of Boris Johnson, have not been received well in the Conservative heartlands; the Daily Telegraph has described it as ‘half baked’ and a group of London MPs are said to be lobbying hard for the measure to be dropped; any prime property tax is likely to be paid mostly by London voters.Estate agents are even more incredulous. After being originally proposed by the Liberal Democrats and then adopted by Labour, the property industry is once again having to explain to ministers why it’s a bad idea.Trevor Abrahmsohn of Glentree International“With the residential property market above £1million trying to get off its knees as a direct result of the draconian Stamp Duty Tax imposed by the former hapless Chancellor Osborne, I’m not sure any form of additional taxation is the therapy required.“We all know that Prime Minister Johnson wants to play to the northern crowd, hence the green light for HS2, but burdening London in particular with a ‘quasi Mansion Tax’ is de facto trying to scare your adversary by shooting yourself in the foot.”Mike Scott, Chief Property Analyst at Yopa“The first and most basic problem lies with the difficulty in identifying the properties that will be subject to the tax.“Though the initial whisperings of plans suggest only properties that are currently in the highest Council Tax band will be considered, every single one of those properties will still need to be valued in order to determine whether it is over the threshold for payment of the new mansion tax.“If the tax is proportional to the property value, then it won’t just have to be allocated to a band of values – as with the Council Tax – it will need an exact valuation.“If it is based on price bands, then the whole exercise will effectively just be the introduction of new, higher bands for Council Tax (which has already happened in Scotland), and not really a new tax at all. In either case, there are certain to be many appeals against the valuations.”Marc von Grundherr of Benham & Reeves“It’s tiring to once again be facing down the barrel of potential Mansion Tax, an ill-thought-out approach and one we would expect to be pioneered by Robin Hood himself, not a Conservative government.“Investment into London’s high-end market, whether it be domestic or foreign, is vital in order to keep the cogs turning across the board, particularly in recent times where the average homeowner remained sat on the fence for so many months, with top-end transactions helping to keep the market’s head above water.”Gavin Human, Hockeys in Cambridgeshire“This seems very much like a Robin Hood tax and will most certainly discriminate those that have inherited or worked hard for what they have got.“We have just had a general election and none of this was mentioned. I feel that many voters will be very angry at this proposal, particularly those living in the south who will be most affected. If we had supported a mansion tax or similar we would have voted for Corbyn.”Camilla Dell, Managing Partner at Black Bricks“We agree that council tax needs urgent reform. This tax is now very outdated and arguably far too low, particularly for more expensive homes in London.“I don’t think any home owners would have an issue in council tax being reformed and higher bands (within reason) being introduced, and we would welcome this change.“But continuing to tinker with stamp duty and introducing a mansion tax would be extremely damaging to what has been a very fragile market that has only just started to show signs of recovery.”Read Lucian Cook’s thoughts on why this latest attempt to introduce a mansion tax will fail.mike scott Hockeys Glentree Gavin Human Benham Reeves Sajid Javid Camilla Dell Trevor Abrahamsohn YOPA February 12, 2020Nigel LewisOne commentAndrew Stanton, CEO Proptech-PR Real Estate Influencer & Journalist CEO Proptech-PR Real Estate Influencer & Journalist 12th February 2020 at 10:38 amLet me see, the creation of an annual tax on wealthy and not so wealthy people who find themselves the owner of properties with a large price tag. Is that a conservative vote winner? or does it sound like an election loser.Given that the idea was dreamed up over a decade ago by of all people Vince Cable, I am in wonderment why it is rearing its head once more.Tinkering with stamp duty, taxation on property can seem a great idea, but as I have seen first hand it can have seismic consequences. In 1988, Nigel Lawson said it would be a good idea to limit mortgage relief at source but gave advance warning. This caused everyone in the UK to pair up and buy property, massive house inflation, and a nuclear winter – property market for many years after. I was actually in agency at the time, and remember it took over a decade for the market to come back.More recently, we had the introduction of additional stamp duty for buyers, purchasing second or more properties, result – another bun fight to buy before the tax change – then a slower market.Annually the property industry in the UK is worth collectively 6.5BN, and the chancellor collects around 16BN, before changing things consult the UK real estate industry first.Log in to ReplyWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Housing Market » Estate agents angrily reject Chancellor’s mansion tax proposals previous nextHousing MarketEstate agents angrily reject Chancellor’s mansion tax proposalsOver the past few days The Negotiator has been overwhelmed by agents telling us about Sajid Javid’s mansion tax proposals. Here are some of their missives.Nigel Lewis12th February 20201 Comment2,315 Viewslast_img read more

‘Turn down the volume’

first_imgThe positive effects of mindfulness meditation on pain and working memory may result from an improved ability to regulate a crucial brain wave called the alpha rhythm. This rhythm is thought to “turn down the volume” on distracting information, which suggests that a key value of meditation may be helping the brain deal with an often overstimulating world.Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard Medical School, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology report that modulation of the alpha rhythm in response to attention-directing cues was faster and significantly more enhanced among study participants who completed an eight-week mindfulness meditation program than in a control group. The study will appear in the journal Brain Research Bulletin and has been released online.“Mindfulness meditation has been reported to enhance numerous mental abilities, including rapid memory recall,” says Catherine Kerr of the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at MGH and the Osher Research Center at Harvard Medical School (HMS), co-lead author of the report. “Our discovery that mindfulness meditators more quickly adjusted the brain wave that screens out distraction could explain their superior ability to rapidly remember and incorporate new facts.”Brain cells use particular frequencies, or waves, to regulate the flow of information in much the same way that radio stations broadcast at specific frequencies. One frequency, the alpha rhythm, is particularly active in the cells that process touch, sight, and sound in the brain’s outmost layer, called the cortex, where it helps to suppress irrelevant or distracting sensations and regulate the flow of sensory information between brain regions.Previous studies have suggested that attention can be used to regulate the alpha rhythm and, in turn, sensory perception. When an individual anticipates a touch, sight, or sound, the focusing of attention toward the expected stimulus induces a lower alpha wave height in cortical cells that would handle the expected sensation, which actually “turns up the volume” of those cells. At the same time the height of the alpha wave in cells that would handle irrelevant or distracting information increases, turning the volume in those regions down. Because mindfulness meditation — in which practitioners direct nonjudgmental attention to their sensations, feelings, and state of mind — has been associated with improved performance on attention-based tasks, the research team decided to investigate whether individuals trained in the practice also exhibited enhanced regulation of the timing and intensity of alpha rhythms.The study tested 12 healthy volunteers with no previous experience in meditation. Half completed the eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program developed at the University of Massachusetts. The other half were asked not to engage in any type of meditation during the study period. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), an imaging technique that detects the location of brain activity with extreme precision, the researchers measured participants’ alpha rhythms before, during, and after the eight-week period. Specifically, they measured alpha rhythms in the brain area that processes signals from the left hand while participants were asked to direct their attention to either their left hand or left foot. Participants’ abilities to adjust the alpha rhythm in cortical cells associated with the hand, depending on where their attention was directed, were recorded during the milliseconds immediately after they received an attention cue.Although all participants had showed some attention-related alpha rhythm changes at the beginning of the study, at the end of the eight weeks, those who completed the mindfulness meditation training made faster and significantly more pronounced attention-based adjustments to the alpha rhythm than the nonmeditators did.“This result may explain reports that mindfulness meditation decreases pain perception,” says Kerr. “Enhanced ability to turn the alpha rhythm up or down could give practitioners’ greater ability to regulate pain sensation.”The study also sheds light on how meditation may affect basic brain function, explains Stephanie Jones of the Martinos Center, co-lead author of the paper. “Given what we know about how alpha waves arise from electrical currents in sensory cortical cells, these data suggest that mindfulness meditation practitioners can use the mind to enhance regulation of currents in targeted cortical cells. The implications extend far beyond meditation and give us clues about possible ways to help people better regulate a brain rhythm that is dysregulated in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and other conditions.” Kerr is an instructor in medicine and Jones an instructor in pediatrics at HMS.last_img read more

New University Breaks Scientific Social Barriers

first_imgBy Dialogo January 01, 2010 Boasting one of the fastest supercomputers in the world, a team of top scientists and a campus at which female and male students can mingle freely, Saudi Arabia’s new multibillion-dollar university aims to break both scientific and social barriers. Classrooms are integrated, women are allowed to drive on campus and, as the photo shows, they aren’t required to shroud themselves in the black abaya. King Abdullah University of Science and Technology was officially launched in September 2009 and is expected to propel the kingdom into the top ranks of technological research, reported Agence France-Presse. The master’s and doctorate degree students represent more than 60 countries, with 15 percent from Saudi Arabia.last_img read more

Dougherty: Rick Pitino can learn from Jim Boeheim after media day no-show

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 28, 2015 at 6:38 pm CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For Trey Lewis and Damion Lee, a day of interviews started at 9:02 a.m. and Lewis was asked about their head coach three minutes later.Lewis, a transfer to Louisville by way of Cleveland State, was the first player from any team to talk in the press conference room at Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball Media Day. He was first asked about becoming a leader as a transfer. Then his 3-point shooting ability. Then, if to only acknowledge the elephant in the room, a reporter asked if Lewis felt “hung out to dry” by head coach Rick Pitino.Pitino was not at media day on Wednesday.Lewis and Lee were.Pitino is under fire for a sexual scandal.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLewis and Lee are not.Two transfers who joined the program months ago were in Charlotte to answer questions surrounding the program. The coach who’s run the program for 15 years hung behind.“We understand why he’s not here,” Lewis said. “He sent us because we are the leaders of this team.”On Friday, Louisville announced that Pitino, as advised by counsel, would not attend media day with the swirling allegations that former director of basketball operations Andre McGee hosted parties that connected players and recruits to escorts. A year ago, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim was in the middle of an NCAA investigation that resulted in the well-documented sanctions at season’s end. The situations aren’t completely parallel, but it’s clear that Pitino can still learn from the coach who hired him as a 24-year-old assistant in 1976.Like Pitino, Boeheim was told he couldn’t speak about the impending investigation at last year’s media day. Unlike Pitino, Boeheim showed up last year and told reporters what he could and could not say. Most importantly, Boeheim didn’t leave Trevor Cooney and Rakeem Christmas to speak on behalf of his embattled program.“No I have not (had a conversation with Pitino), I will call him but I have not right now, but I will talk to him,” Boeheim said at media day. “I don’t give advice. I’ll just talk to him as a friend, that’s all. He knows, he’s smart, he knows what he has to do.”Cooney, who went through a similar experience to the Louisville players at last year’s media day, said he “wouldn’t wish it upon anybody.” Michael Gbinije, who joined Cooney this year, said he and Cooney definitely “feel for” Lewis and Lee because they’ve been there before. Gbinije’s advice to the Louisville players was to do their best to take the attention and turn it toward basketball and the coming season.That’s easier said than done, as Lewis and Lee faced a steady stream of Pitino- and scandal-related questions in an hour with reporters.“I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Lewis, who added that the players were advised not to speak on matters unrelated to basketball. “I knew I was going to be asked some tough questions, but I also believe that’s why (Pitino) put me and Damion here to talk about these things — because first of all, it doesn’t involve us.“I can’t really speak on it too much because I really don’t know anything about it. I came here to talk about basketball and have some fun and enjoy this experience. And so far, I have been.”Pitino’s absence from media seemed to have little effect on Lewis and Lee, but that doesn’t mean it was the right way to go about this. The two players continually echoed Louisville’s initial release, saying Pitino was advised by counsel to not attend and that they understood why he wasn’t there. Lewis, after implying that his and Lee’s presence was in some ways strategic, said that Pitino “would love to speak on things, he just can’t.”But there have probably been a lot of times Pitino was “advised” not to do something but did it anyway. Pitino’s a grown man capable of making his own decisions. His past tells us as much. He chose not to represent Louisville when his representation was most necessary, and left two players to talk about something that did not and should not concern them.“We don’t let any outside distractions get to us,” Lee said during his press conference.And while that may be true for Louisville’s players, it can’t be said for its absent coach.Jesse Dougherty is the Web Editor at The Daily Orange, where his column appears occasionally. He can be reached at [email protected] or @dougherty_jesse. Commentslast_img read more