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Labour says stamp duty holiday is “a bung for landlords”

Labour has described the stamp duty holiday introduced last week as “a £1.3 billion bung for landlords” because the tax break applies to additional homes as well as owner-occupier properties.

While the additional homes surcharge of three per cent remains in place - so still applied to buy to let and holiday home purchases - Labour is aggrieved that the stamp duty exemption up to £500,000 applies to all buyers, including those investment purchasers and people wanting a vacation property.

Labour wants buy to let landlords excluded and Thangam Debbonaire, Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary, says: “It is unacceptable that the Chancellor tried to sneak out this huge bung to second home owners and landlords while millions of people are desperate for support. He should be targeting support to those who need it, not helping people invest in buy-to-let properties and holiday homes.


“An unnecessary subsidy for second home-owners will only worsen the housing crisis by reducing the supply of homes overall.

“We need a credible plan from Tory Ministers to build the homes our country needs and get people on to the housing ladder.”

Debbonaire has now written to Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick - the full text of her letter is below.

Dear Robert,

I am writing to you after the Chancellor’s financial statement in the Commons yesterday.

Subsequent to the Chancellor’s statement, the Treasury has revealed that the stamp duty changes will also provide a tax break for second homeowners.

The Treasury has confirmed that those looking to buy a second property or buying to let, will only have to pay stamp duty at 3% up to £500,000, rather than the 8% from a quarter a million up.

I’m seeking to clarify why your government is giving such a large tax break to owners of second homes at a time of an acute housing crisis.

If someone bought a second home yesterday for half a million pounds, they would have expected to pay £15,000 more than they would today.

You’ll know that in total, since its introduction in 2016, around 29% of all liable transactions have been subject to the Higher Rate (of Stamp duty) for Additional Dwellings.

The majority (88%) of HRAD transactions are on properties sold for under £500,000.

In 2019/20, 34% of homes bought were second properties meaning this policy could cost the exchequer £1.3 billion. This could fund the immediate gap in local council finances, which the LGA predicts will be £1.2 billion by the end of the year.

At a time when we have an acute local government funding crisis, I question how the Government can justify giving a tax break to people already fortunate enough to own an existing property rather than giving councils the funding they need.

Over a million people are on council waiting lists whilst the number of new social homes has fallen by 80%. This money could be much better spent on truly affordable housing to buy or rent, rather than on a tax break for second homeowners.

The Chancellor had an opportunity to rebuild and invest in truly affordable housing to buy or rent. But he failed to take it. He talked about jobs but did little to address the skills shortage in construction sector.

Please urge the Chancellor reverse his decision to give a tax break to second homeowners. We are calling for clear action in the spirit of constructive engagement.

Yours sincerely,

Thangam Debbonaire

  • icon

    I’m am SO sick of this labour BS. Landlords are entrepreneurs who work hard to save and buy properties. They should not be penalised they should be congratulated. As a developer and a landlord we have been penalised since the stamp duty surcharge came in. We pay ridiculous amounts of money on Stamp duty, s106, CIL, planning fees, corporation tax all to produce additional properties and reduce the shortfall. We are taxed at every step. Enough of this BS everyone has the right to buy property no matter who you aren’t what you do. The surcharge is discriminatory which in modern society is unacceptable.

  • jeremy clarke

    Without private landlords, many of Thangam Debbonaire's constituents would be homeless, including hundreds of students. For years, since the introduction of this punitive tax landlords have been holding back,this could be the start of getting some confidence and goodwill back as far as landlords are concerned.

  • icon

    A free bung is the salary and expenses many mps experience.

    jeremy clarke

    and those from so called charities such as shelter

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    The govt distribute £20 Million of tax-payers money for Shelter to defend @r$eholes who are the minority of tenants freeloading.
    Then Millions more to Citizens Advice, legal Aid, local law centres etc.
    Its the minority of Feckless ( hope Paul Barrett doesn't mind me borrowing his term ) tenants that use up the majority of resources.
    They should be told, ' You've screwed previous landlords over so we're not spending a penny more of public, Tax-payers money on you. '



    • 13 July 2020 21:30 PM

    Feel free to use that feckless descriptor whenever you consider appropriate.
    I consider you have far more contact with these types such that your knowledge of these types is not like for me mostly anecdotal.

    You are far more experienced at the proverbial coalface than me and mostly likely have regular dealings with these types.

    I haven't seen ANYWHERE in MSM that perhaps these rent defaulting might well be FECKLESS!!!

    NOPE all left for LL to support with their own RESOURCES IF THEY HAVE ANY!!!!!!!??

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Thank you Paul,
    I was completing an Access application for a landlord today, the tenant having brought a Disrepair case against him and then not allowing Trades persons he sent via appointment with Tenants, access.
    The application form asked for my occupation and I was sorely tempted to put ;
    @r$ehole Remover !
    The landlord told me I should have, as it was quite true ;-)


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