Former housing minister calls on PM to cut stamp duty

Robert Jenrick

The former housing minister Robert Jenrick has called on Rishi Sunak to cut stamp duty to provide a “boost” to housebuilding and the wider housing market

Jenrick, who recently resigned as immigration minister over the Rwanda legislation, raised the issue in the House of Commons during Prime Minister’s Questions. He said that a reduction in the levy would boost demand for housing, help a greater number of first-time buyers in their efforts to get a foot on the housing ladder, and encourage developers to build more much-needed new homes.

He told the Commons: “A first responsibility for government is to fix the housing crisis that young people didn’t cause.”

He said the Conservative Party had “dragged housebuilding” to the “highest levels since 1987” and said Labour “left it at its lowest level since the 1920s”.

But he added: “Housebuilding is weakening. We need to do more. Will (the prime minister) consider using the budget to do as he and I did together during the pandemic and cut stamp duty to boost housing starts, to reignite the economy and to support thousands of businesses across our country?”

The prime minister made it clear that said tax decisions are for the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and insisted the government has delivered an increase in housebuilding.

Sunak responded: “Since 2010 we have delivered two and a half million additional homes, on track to deliver a million just in this Parliament and help over 850,000 families into homeownership through schemes such as help-to-buy and right-to-buy.

“Obviously, tax decisions are a matter for the Chancellor. But I would point out that our existing stamp duty relief for first-time buyers ensures the vast majority of first-time buyers in our country pay absolutely no stamp duty.”

Jeremy Hunt has publicly warned that the tax cuts set to be unveiled in the Spring Budget will not be as large as the ones announced in November.

Speaking on ITV’s Peston show, the chancellor said: “It doesn’t look like I’ll have the kind of room that I had for those very big tax cuts in the autumn.”

The remark came after the Treasury was handed the first round of estimates from the Office for Budget Responsibility [OBR] ahead of the Budget on 6 March.

While the figures are kept private, it is understood the OBR said currently the so-called “fiscal headroom” – money that the Chancellor has to spend while reducing government debt – would be around £14bn a year, which is significantly below the £35bn that had been available to Hunt ahead of the Autumn Statement in November.

 

Property tax take soars to more than £15bn

 

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4 Comments

  1. jeremy1960

    Every time this gimmick is rolled out by government, all it achieves is an increase in house prices. Sellers just add what the buyer would have paid in sdlt to the asking price.

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  2. Anonymous Coward

    Let’s try and bribe the voters!

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    1. jan-byers

      Yes let’s offer free broadband

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  3. biffabear

    Stamp duty should go back to pre Brown/Blair.
    1% for everyone.
    Nice and simple and people will start moving again.

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