In an interview with The Times newspaper, Conservative Party shadow housing minister Grant Shapps (nope, never heard of him either) said after coming to power, his party would scrap home information packs (HIPs) “in a matter of weeks”. (Apparently they can be suspended almost immediately under emergency powers.) The announcement follows claims by estate agents that HIPs are impeding a housing market recovery as potential sellers regard the £300-£400 cost of a HIP as another disincentive. (Yes, we know, sellers probably also regard the huge fees estate agents charge for sending out inaccurate particulars, fouling up viewing appointments and generally doing bugger-all for their money as a disincentive.)