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Child Allowance and Stamp Duty Rises Defeated

Bids to increase child tax allowances for the first time since 2011 and increase stamp duty for properties that sell for more than £1m have both been rejected.

They were both lodged by the Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel, in attempts to help families deal with the rising cost of living.

The Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel's plan to increase child tax allowances and childcare tax relief.

The same panel's proposal for amending the Stamp Duty bands to increase duty for homes that cost more than £1m

On child tax breaks, many politicians agreed with the Council of Ministers that the move was premature while reviews of personal tax and nursery education are ongoing - and the majority of States Members agreed.

Education Minister Senator Tracey Vallois said it would unfairly advantage single parents living with a new partner.

"They would be able to claim the increase in that additional allowance and therefore that co-habiting family would be better off than a married family.

"We spent the last term trying to bring it up to par, we've only literally just got there, so the increase in the additional allowance would create an unfairness."

Housing Minister Senator Sam Mezec agreed - he said a different approach is needed to help young people in this way.

"What I want to see is a situation where we have better direct funding for nursery education so that every child on the island has an opportunity to get the benefit of that and the way that you do that is through a direct support system.

It is not through a badly targeted, badly timed and uncosted tax break, which is what this is."

A proposal to increase stamp duty for more expensive properties was also defeated - with the Council of Ministers again arguing that no action should be taken until a Housing Policy Development Board report on policies to address challenges in the housing market is published early next year.

It was also suggested that increasing duty for homes that cost more than seven figures would be unfair, slow down the housing market and even push up house prices.

A review into Housing and Nursery Education are both due in 2020, which Scrutiny Panel chair Senator Kristina Moore is unhappy with - she wanted to take action sooner.

"Those Policy Development Boards should have been providing their findings in good time to produce a change for this budget, this year, so that the benefits can be felt within the community for at least two years of this assembly. Not in 2021 when we will be heading quickly towards an election."

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