Brown may gamble on stamp duty

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So says the Guardian today.

It also notes that he might:

¬? Encouraging local councils to offer mortgages.

¬? Allowing housing corporations to buy more unsold private properties, which could then be rented out affordably.

¬? Letting council tenants use their discount under the right-to-buy' scheme as a deposit on a private sector home.

¬? Cutting stamp duty to help institutional investors in the private rented sector.

This is economically illogical because there is no coherence in here:

1) This sector has already been over-inflated because it has enjoyed tax relief, especially from Capital Gains Tax. Why make the mistake again?

2) Where are local authorities to get the funds from to offer mortgages, and what qualifies them to do so when banks are failing at the job? Who will pick up the bad dent bill, or is this a secret business plan for Northern Rock?

3) Helping institutional buyers into the private rented sector will only exacerbate the excess supply of two bedroom flats that already exists.

The credit crunch is a complex issue that requires coordinated economic action. This is random, scatter gun action and cannot help.

If we want to a) help home buyers already in distress rather than encourage more to become distressed b) support banks so more do not end up on the government's books and c) support the social housing market then I have already offered a coordinated (and probably cheaper) policy response. It's cheaper because it uses the bank's own money for starters.

Surely it makes more sense to help those having a problem than throw more people at it?