David Cameron lambasted the government for its 'completely reckless' briefing of plans that could defer stamp duty, accusing ministers yesterday of exacerbating problems in the housing market.

The broadside from the Conservative leader intensifies the battle over the slide in house prices. Cameron used his regular press conference to try to maximise ministers’ discomfort over last week’s bungled leaks of Gordon Brown’s autumn economic plan.

The Treasury has sought to play down reports that stamp duty may be deferred for first-time buyers, saying this is just one of a number of options being considered. But Alistair Darling last week refused to rule out any changes to the property tax ahead of this autumn’s pre-Budget report.

Financial Times