Opposition is growing fast to the threat of another stamp duty attack on the buy to let sector, rumoured to be part of government plans for the Autumn Budget in November.
Yesterday we reported that influential political journalists in Conservative-supporting publications suggested that government insiders had advocated another stamp duty surcharge for buy to let investors was being considered by Chancellor Phillip Hammond for later this year.
In April 2016 his predecessor, George Osborne, introduced a three per cent surcharge on additional homes - holiday properties and buy to lets.
Now two former Conservative cabinet ministers have criticised reported plans for an increase in the surcharge.
John Redwood, the former trade secretary, has told the Daily Telegraph: “There is no need to increase taxes and if you carry on increasing them you'll collect less money from people, which is the opposite of what we want to achieve. The answer for the Treasury is cut stamp duty and you’ll raise more money.”
Lord Lilley, the former social security secretary, told the same newspaper: “The only two ways to get house prices down are to build more houses or to prevent people buying them, by putting taxes on them. They’ve opted for the second one. But we just need to build more houses. We’ve let four million extra people into the country and we haven’t built enough houses for the people who are already here.”
Meanwhile Keystone Property Finance chief executive David Whittaker warns: “A further hike in stamp duty aimed at the sector really would be the straw that broke the camel’s back and could result in landlords exiting the market in their droves. This would be disastrous for the country. It might peg house prices back a bit but it would hurt those in the rented sector more and could lead to an increase in homelessness.”