Tue 02 Feb 2021STAMP DUTY GOVERNMENT RESPONSE
This evening, Parliament held a virtual Petitions Committee debate on the possibility of extending the Stamp Duty holiday, beyond the current deadline of 31 March 2021.
MPs lined up to take part, importantly with many having heard from multiple constituents. Cases were outlined of transactions which are stuck in a logjam due to Covid restrictions and conveyancing, and which are likely to fall through if those involved are liable for the unexpected tax costs.
Many of those who participated drew a picture of thousands of pounds spent by voters, on surveys and searches undertaken in good faith, in anticipation of saving Stamp Duty Land Tax.
While many agreed that now is not the time for the Treasury to overhaul the tax and spend system, there was a large degree of consensus among those that took part, that the holiday should taper off, with offers accepted in advance qualifying even if they cannot complete the purchase by the end of March.
The Rt Hon Jesse Norman MP responded on behalf of the Treasury saying that the UK Government are aware of the strength of feeling and fully understand the frustrations of those involved. He talked about many thousands of people working in the sector and thanked everyone for their efforts. He went on to say that the rationale for introducing the holiday was to combat Covid-related uncertainty and said that the approach had worked as a policy with transactions up 34% in December year on year.
The Treasury are unable to comment on tax policy outside of a fiscal event however, the debate sent an important message about the importance the Stamp Duty holiday and members should continue to contact their MP, illustrating the issue with real life examples.
Mark Hayward, Chief Policy Advisor, Propertymark said:
"We welcome today’s important debate on the issue of the stamp duty holiday, and are pleased to see that there is clearly cross-party support for a holiday extension or tapered end given the concerning cliff-edge is now only two months away.
“The housing market boom, caused by the stamp duty holiday, has been hugely beneficial; however, the stamp duty cliff edge on the 31st March could cause thousands of sales to fall at the final hurdle and have a knock on and drastic effect on the housing market which has recovered well from the Covid slump.
“We are continuing to call on the UK Government to rethink these timings, so pressure on the system can be released to allow transactions to complete and avoid a disorderly and distressing period for movers and businesses throughout the market.”
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