An online petition aiming to get 100,000 signatures expressing opposition to Chancellor George Osborne’s buy to let tax changes looks certain to fail.
The petition, here, has under 57,000 signatures - if it secures its six figure target by January 27 (next Wednesday) it will oblige MPs to consider having a debate on the issue, although this will by no means guarantee a change of heart.
Osborne’s proposal is that mortgage interest tax relief for buy-to-let homebuyers should be restricted to the basic rate of income tax, currently 20 per cent, even if they themselves pay the higher 40 or 45 per cent tax rates.
Osborne says the relief, which will address "unfairnesses in property taxation", will be phased out from next year.
"Buy to let landlords have a huge advantage in the market as they can offset their mortgage interest payments against their income, whereas homebuyers cannot. And the better-off the landlord, the more tax relief they get. For the wealthiest, every pound of mortgage interest costs they incur, they get 45p back from the taxpayer” Osborne told MPs last summer.
The petition came about from a campaign called SayNoToGeorge, which sprang up as a response to the proposed measures.