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Budget 2013: what would you like to see from Osborne on Wednesday?

(124 Posts)
SarahMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 18-Mar-13 11:46:33

This Wednesday, at 12.30pm, chancellor George Osborne will deliver his 2013 budget. With the UK on the brink of a triple-dip recession, and grumblings among backbenchers about the wisdom of his 'austerity first' course, it looks set to be Osborne's most scrutinised budget yet - and it will affect all of us directly, in terms of the tax we pay, the benefits we receive, and how much we'll be spending on our next bottle of wine. Many of the changes to taxes and benefits that will take effect this year (such as the increase in the personal tax allowance and the 1% cap on working-age benefits) were announced in December's mini-budget, but key areas that look set to be affected on Wednesday include pensions and childcare (the Daily Mail is already reporting that the government is set to unveil childcare tax breaks worth up to £1500.

With 48 hours to go before Osborne takes to the despatch box, what would your recommendations for this year's budget be?

* Ought cutting the deficit to remain the priority - or should we be concentrating on generating growth by investing in infrastructure projects, even if it means increasing our borrowing in the short term?

* Have spending cuts been implemented too quickly or should we be cutting harder to get through the pain faster?

* Is the government doing enough to support families, and if not, what more could be done?

* And how have the changes since last year's budget affected your households incomes - are you better or worse off?

We'll be glued to our screens in MNHQ on Wednesday, and will post the key announcements in the budget thread as they happen - please come and watch with us! And Mark Dampier, who guided us through events last year, will post as soon as possible after Osborne sits down with a roundup of the key points. But until then, let's come up with our own suggestions for what George should be concentrating on. Over to you.

BoffinMum Tue 26-Mar-13 09:09:17

Was this a national chain?

KLou111 Sun 24-Mar-13 17:49:49

Sorry, disagree Boffin. Met a couple a few weeks ago who rent a property attached to them through a 'reputable' agency that had been around for years. They never let on to tenants though that they live next door. They didn't get their rent for 2 months, agency stepped in eventually after them badgering them for so long, they got the cheque for over a grand within a week (i think they owed around £1200), cashed it and agency went bust, also took their deposit as they'd never paid it into the scheme. However, if we do it ourselves, as we are in control, if they don't pay within 7 days of due they get their notice straight away, but at least we only lose 1 months rent (notice period either way-backdated from due date as per contract). But we do take them to small claims if they don't pay and usually end up with most, if not all of it. That is if they stay, which they usually don't and we refill the room within a few days.

And with regard long term lets, you still only have to give the required notice (I think it's 2 months for LL 1 month for tenant for ASTs?) so not really worth the paper they are written on.

BoffinMum Sun 24-Mar-13 09:28:39

Well, it's a least awful option, as at least you have a degree of recourse you don't have if renting privately.

MrAnchovy Fri 22-Mar-13 15:04:18

"You're pretty well covered if you use a national agency with an established reputation, as a tenant and landlord."

LOL most national agencies do seem to have well established reputations - as expensive, fleecing (renewal charges for tenants? WTF?), underhand (maintenance provided by associated companies? WTF?), lazy oligopolists.

BoffinMum Fri 22-Mar-13 14:32:39

You're pretty well covered if you use a national agency with an established reputation, as a tenant and landlord.

You can negotiate longer leases if you want - my tenants are currently on a two year lease and we are not anticipating putting the rent up during that time either because I don't think our costs are likely to increase.

On the continent people are more used to renting and tend to be more businesslike and responsible - here it's seen as a poor man's option. That's a shame, as I am sure a lot of people would like not having to worry about owning a house.

Kernowgal Thu 21-Mar-13 18:27:30

Urgh, agents. Don't even get me started! Trouble is, anyone can set up as a lettings agency. I had one agent turn up for a viewing with visible remains of a night on the Bolivian marching powder round his nose. They went bust a few months later and guess what - never saw that deposit again either!

I vowed to never go through an agency again, even if the house was amazing.

KLou111 Thu 21-Mar-13 17:46:01

This is our job kernowgal, we are on call 24/7, but rarely ever get called out of hours tbh. Although we had an email Xmas day from a tenant letting us know another tenant hadn't washed up that day WTH??? Agencies are crap, too much money for both tenant and landlord when setting up, (multi lets around £200 +VAT per month, so £2k+20% in our case, no thanks!), and you can't get them out of hours.
Totally understand why they brought it out, but it hammered us tbh. We've had people move out and leave the money in the scheme sitting there just so we couldn't get it despite practically trashing a house (graffiti in and outside, carpets written off, kitchen hanging off the walls, and they flooded the bathroom). Their measly deposit wouldn't have even covered 1/3, but it would have been something. Hence we now multi let, can access the property anytime without notice (we try when we can though, we do rarely just turn up!) And with that, we both are stay at home parents which was our goal 15 years ago when we bought our first ever house smile

Kernowgal Thu 21-Mar-13 12:38:26

Yeah I think that's my issue - from my point of view I'll never be able to afford to buy so renting is my only option, and the AST system gives me no security whatsoever.

With the best will in the world a landlord might have to sell up, leaving the tenant having to find somewhere at a couple of months' notice (I think that's right but please correct me if wrong). Some landlords decide to massively hike the rent on renewing the contract, forcing you to move out. And some letting agents are absolute shysters.

I have always paid my rent on time, in full, every month. I've always kept places clean and tidy and maintained the garden as required. And most of my landlords have been great, quick to make repairs etc. But it only takes one bad tenant for future tenants to be regarded/treated with suspicion, and one bad landlord to make the whole business of renting utterly miserable.

From both a tenant's and a landlord's point of view, I find it astonishing that the rental sector is not better regulated. Sure, a lettings agency can sign up to ARLA, but it's voluntary IIRC. The deposit scheme is a great idea and I am very very glad of it - I've lost several thousand pounds in shared houses through landlords refusing to pay back deposits for spurious reasons and although we took to them to the small claims court (case found in our favour) we never saw a penny of that money back.

I would like to see more secure tenancies, and that is my issue with buy-to-let landlords rather than career landlords, because you are probably operating on slim margins while working in other jobs, and there is so much that could go wrong say if your mortgage company suddenly increased their charges (as per Bank of Ireland recently), or if you lost your job, that might force you to sell up.

Again correct me if I'm wrong, but this has been my experience. I'm not sure who - if anyone - benefits from the current set-up, whether tenant or landlord. I now avoid agencies like the plague.

BoffinMum Thu 21-Mar-13 11:59:22

There is a point there, but I was once a tenant with a lazy landlady who treated me badly, and ripped my off, so I see both sides.

KLou111 Thu 21-Mar-13 10:45:27

And we self manage too.

KLou111 Thu 21-Mar-13 10:44:15

That's lovely boffin, we multi let (to professionals mainly) so the deposit scheme is a pain for us! It's so long winded, but we don't understand why the good 95% of us were penalised for the 5% of crap landlords! It's OUR business, and OUR houses, they had no right meddling.

BoffinMum Thu 21-Mar-13 10:33:37

I need to add to all the above that 80% of our tenants are lovely and treat the place with respect, as obviously we wouldn't keep going otherwise!

BoffinMum Thu 21-Mar-13 10:31:42

BTW I think the new tenant deposit scheme is fantastic, as it really shows tenants what is required of them and it removes arguments and hassle. Previously there was just a lot of bitching from tenants about us being mean landlords, now they know when they smash a sink or toilet or whatever that we are not their insurance company, and that they are responsible for their own actions.

BoffinMum Thu 21-Mar-13 10:27:27

Another one who rents houses out. I am not in the business of property, I am in the business on providing a lovely family home to local families when they need one. Yet even though we go to considerable pains to be the best, most caring landlords imaginable, having the place professionally managed by a lettings agency but also rolling up our own sleeves at short notice when necessary, people still pay their rent late, fail to dust for the entire duration of the tenancy, let the grass grow absolutely wild, do a runner from time to time, and sometimes trash the place on the way out. Please do not believe all you read in the Daily Mail about dodgy landlords as there are very many more disrespectful tenants IME.

Talkinpeace Wed 20-Mar-13 18:32:47

slaps wrist - must not post of top of head when tired and been working on a different sector all day - sorry Anchovy

ShadeMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 20-Mar-13 15:51:24

Will Hadwen, rights adviser to the charity Working Families, considers the impact of George Osborne's 2013 Budget on families.

KLou111 Wed 20-Mar-13 15:32:10

Fair enough. The reasons we don't have pensions though are firstly there is no guarantee that what you initially take on is what you will get, either private or through the workplace.
My fil worked for the same company his whole life. He had 6 years til retirement age and the company he worked for (a very large tractor company) was taken over by the Americans. They wanted to shuffle the pensions around and basically leave my fil considerably out of pocket. Thankfully (if that is the right terminology), after a meeting here in the UK, the Americans proposing this had a plane (private plane) crash and died. The plans never happened and my fil was lucky.
Secondly, if you die, more or less your pension goes with you (obviously depending on your sort of pension), a house my son (currently 19 months) can either take over and keep letting (mortgages permitting) or sell on and he will always have the money. Obviously property fluctuates massively, but you get the idea. Basically we are investing into the future of our family indefinitely, not just the few years after we retire.

Kernowgal Wed 20-Mar-13 14:45:06

KLou111 I never said landlords have it easy. My past few landlords have had troublesome tenants and lost plenty of money through it. Your choice to take DSS tenants at the end of the day (although I agree you should not be forced to pay it back; it should be the council's responsibility to ensure proper checks are made). That said, all the bad tenants my various landlords have had were private tenants, not DSS.

But ultimately it is your choice to invest in property and being a grumpy leftie I am of the mindset that making profit from property is partly why we're in the situation we're in. People don't have private pensions so they look elsewhere to finance their retirement. But how can I ever compete on the property market with people such as yourselves?

I too work my arse off. In my spare time I do other bits of work to bring in more money to make ends meet. 15-20 years ago my equivalent salary would have been enough to get me onto the bottom of the property ladder. Now I don't stand a chance. I am even priced out of 'affordable home' schemes in my area.

We'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

KLou111 Wed 20-Mar-13 13:28:52

Kernowgal, we are landlords, and due to working our arses off over the last 10 years, banking money, and buying clever, we now have a 'portfolio' of 10 properties (number 10 offer accepted today) We too have been screwed over by the government ie deposits, restrictions on tenants etc, so I would do your homework before you start saying landlords have it easy. We take on DSS and get paid by the council direct, if those tenants are claiming fraudulently, WE have to pay it back! How is that fair, we don't know what they're entitled to!
WE didn't bump prices up, estate agents did!! WE didn't crash the banks, people living beyond their means, and bankers did!!

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 20-Mar-13 12:31:05

Please do come and join us on the live watch-alonga-Budget thread

Ocelotl Wed 20-Mar-13 11:39:50

U-turn on the bedroom tax, which is nothing better than a window tax for the poorest. The closure of the tax loopholes for wealthy individuals and corporations.
General rebalancing of "austerity" from targeting the poorest and least able to pay, the old, the unemployed, the parents and carers, the disabled, the teachers, nurses, policemen and others in the public sector, and making those most able to pay shoulder more of the burden.
Multibillion savings in the "defence" spending that we could make if we stopped invading other countries? Maybe instead of building weapons of destruction we could target job creation through civil engineering, building homes and schools?
But this is 2013, this is George Osborne, so no point dreaming.
What we'll get is more tax relief for the rich and more taxes for the poor - because pricing a disabled person out of a council flat will really get our economy going.

mam29 Wed 20-Mar-13 11:33:26

they wont solve housing as would mean deflate house prices.

im fed up if what they doing.

but dont know who else to vote for

labour screwed us too!

Kernowgal Wed 20-Mar-13 11:10:45

More money to Sure Start
Scrap Trident
End to Right To Buy/discounted purchase of LA homes - keep those homes for the people who need them
End winter fuel tax for those who don't need it
A ban on buy-to-let as an alternative to pensions (in my dreams) - people and their fucking 'property portfolios' making money out of those of us who will never be able to own.
Anything to help farmers in trouble would be great.

MiniTheMinx Wed 20-Mar-13 10:05:45

I second everyone calling for his resignation, a day of public rejoicing would do much good for the economy. Even with higher taxes we could all raise a wine

Austerity isn't working it is plunging us into a downwards spiral of low productivity, no growth and actually increasing the deficit. It is hurting millions of ordinary people and plunging children into poverty. By 2015 it is estimated that 7.1 million children will be living in poverty.

I would close tax loopholes, either those holding the wonga invest in the economy to create jobs (which they haven't) or the government steps in to redistribute through investment. I would tax income from investments in shares, hedge funds and other financial products at a much higher rate and implement the transaction tax.

Rather than handing out JSA and handing free labour to tesco, I would hand the unemployed a shovel, there is much work that needs to be done, improving schools, fixing roads, building social housing that would give people wages not handouts.

Stop the creeping privatisation of education and health which will eventually put billions into the hands of foreign investors, out of the reach of HMRC.

I would also like to see rail, transport and utilities nationalised.

I'm going to be very disappointed.

SarahMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 20-Mar-13 10:03:40

<pops head round door>

Hey budget-lovers - just to let you know we'll be starting a new thread later this morning for anyone who wants to follow the budget live with us. We'll post what George says as he says it and you can tell us what it means

I'll stick the link in this thread as soon as it's up. See you at 12.30!

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