Thoughts on the Spring Budget 2021 – still a little ‘Father Christmas’ but, thankfully, less ‘Mr Scrooge’

Our esteemed Chancellor was kinder than we had feared. The hikes in Capital Gains tax which certainly would have affected the buy-to-let market, were not present and the Stamp Duty moratorium will continue to the end of June, with a Nil band rate set at £ 250,000. This will give a respite to those buyers who were anxious that completions on their properties would not take place before the previous deadline at the end of March. Continue reading

Mr Sunak, don’t do a half job on Stamp Duty on Wednesday’s Mini-Budget – do it properly, or not at all

As the press media would have us believe, apart from tinkering with VAT, it looks as though Mr Sunak is going to raise the threshold of Stamp Duty as a limp gesture, for a year, to get the residential property market off its knees.

I’m wondering who is, today, advising the Treasury about the state of the residential market? Whoever they may be, the truth is that as a direct result of the government-backed scheme – Right-to-Buy – this has been stoking up the lower end of the market, for some time now. Frankly, activity in this sector has been quite brisk and doesn’t really need any further stimulation. Continue reading

Budget 2020: Conspicuously absent of any reforms on the parlous SDLT escalator, apart from a much unneeded surcharge for foreign buyers

Here was a golden opportunity missed by the new Chancellor, to get the Residential Property Market off its knees, by reviewing the Stamp Duty Escalator, imposed by former Chancellor Osborne, in 2014.

According to the OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility), Osborne claimed that the Stamp Duty Receipts in 2014 i.e. £14.5billion would, as a result of his reforms, be £19.5billion in 2020, but instead, turned out to be a paltry £12.5billion.

In effect, that these measures cost the Treasury £1billion in lost tax and was an eye watering 50% prediction error, which is an unacceptable overstatement. Continue reading