Budget helps alternative mortgages
An alternative system which avoids the payment of interest on mortgages received help from the Chancellor in the Budget.
Based on principles from the Old Testament which prohibits the charging of interest, some Muslims have developed an alternative system for mortgages whereby a bank buys the property on the customer's behalf. It then sells it to the customer charging an additional lump sum on top of the asking price.
However, using such a mortgage meant that people had no choice but to pay stamp duty twice in order to stay true to their religious principles.
Technically, the property has been bought and sold twice so stamp duty is charged on each transaction.
Gordon Brown however announced in his Budget the abolition of the payment of this double stamp duty.
The move received widespread approval from muslims and from the banks.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders said it would mean a wider choice of mortgages and a fairer system for Muslims.
Iqbal Asaria of the Muslim Council of Britain said: "We are very pleased. We expect new products to be launched by the end of the year."