Telegraph recommends “flipping” primary residence

The way The Telegraph has been drip feeding the MP’s expenses scandal over the last week has been interesting. I don’t think anyone could deny that they’ve tried to stick to their party political agenda – getting the outrage about Labour MPs out there first, then following with Tory expenses. I can’t really blame them – they’re a Tory paper and they’ve got a mostly Tory readership. It doesn’t in any way excuse what MPs of all parties have been doing – pushing what’s “within the rules” to almost breaking point and appearing like Orwellesque swine, stuffing themselves on the finest swill the taxpayer can provide.

It is worth, however, pointing out that The Telegraph haven’t always had such a negative attitude to “flipping”. In June 2007 they published an article with the title “Home Sweet Second Home” with the byline of Teresa Hunter. In the article readers are advised…

2. Become a butterfly and flit between homes
Or in the jargon, switch “principal private residence” exemptions between properties. All gains on property are taxable with the exception of the home you live in which the taxman calls your principal private residence. However, if you own more than one home you can elect which you wish classed as your primary residence, provided there is some evidence that you have actually resided there, albeit shortly. If you live for even a matter of weeks at any stage in your “second” home, this enables you to write off the last three years of capital gains when you come to sell.

I’ll leave it to you to decide whether there’s a reek of hypocrisy – and whether it’s any suprise…

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