Stamp duty holiday extension – MP calls for action after debate is postponed

MPs may not be given an opportunity to debate an extension to the stamp duty holiday beyond 31 March, despite an online petition passing the 100,000 threshold which would trigger such discussion.

The House of Commons previously confirmed there would be a debate about stamp duty after a petition on the UK government’s website for the current stamp duty holiday to be extended until September 2021 secured enough signatures for it to be considered for debate in parliament.

Jacob Rees-Mogg

The petition, which has proved popular with buyers and sellers, as well as agents, conveyancing solicitors, mortgage lenders and surveyors, has now attracted more than 119,000 signatures.

But Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the House of Commons, has temporarily suspended debates in Westminster Hall, meaning that the stamp duty holiday extension may now not be debated in parliament.

All sittings in Westminster Hall, where petitions debates take place, will be suspended until further notice, due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

However, the chair of the Petitions Committee Catherine McKinnell has called on the government to urgently make plans to restart petitions debates following the decision to temporarily suspend sittings in Westminster Hall.

McKinnell, a Labour MP, said: “On behalf of the millions of people waiting to have their petitions debated, I am disappointed that the government hasn’t made it possible for debates to continue virtually while Westminster Hall has to close.

Catherine McKinnell

“The Petitions Committee will continue to take action on petitions, including taking evidence, speaking to petitioners and holding our own virtual sessions, but I hope that in the coming weeks the government will bring forward plans to make sure that petition debates can restart as soon as possible, and including as many MPs as possible.”

Since Westminster Hall reopened in October, the Petitions Committee has held 22 debates, covering 37 petitions, signed by more than 7 million people.

Some 33 petitions, including the one calling for an extension to the stamp duty holiday for an additional six months after 31st March 2021, are currently waiting for debate.

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16 Comments

  1. Snowleopard

    This is easily resolved – a 30 day extension, with the caveat you must have been SSTC no later than 1st February. To allow those ‘in process’ to complete, but not to bring new transactions into the pipeline.

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    1. Stephen French

      I’ve been saying exactly this for weeks. You don’t really need to limit the extension to 30 days either. As long as it’s the same transaction I feel it should be allowed to continue. Buyers then know. at the time of offering,  the stamp duty liability. Very simple

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    2. Flatnose1927

      I completely agree. It just seems a perfectly reasonable compromise. A stop dead date of x by which solicitors must be instructed, with a deadline of eg six months to complete so that regardless of chain size there’s time to wade through the process, makes a whole heap of sense.

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    3. AnAgentsLife

      Totally agree. Isn’t it obvious.  No need to debate, it’s the fairest, simplest solution where everyone benefits.

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    4. JELS

      Hi, I don’t think it is as easy as that. Many vendors have sold but not found as nothing has come to the market and what has is being sold before it goes to market. Also, chains are already breaking, gazumping is rife in some areas, conveyancing still playing catch up, probate too. Covid lockdown this time has had an impact on vendors not wishing to go to the market as they do not want people in their homes, children off school so viewings are lower, and to be honest – some stress levels are through the roof. I feel it would be fairer if an extension with a deadline and no extension thereafter.

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  2. Eyereaderturnedposter12

    If you’re not concerned that COVID is (and will continue to be) being used as justification to circumvent accepted democratic processes…you really should be.

    What next?

    More debates NOT happening/ “being put on hold”…?

    Perhaps, local elections NOT happening/”being put on hold”…?

    Perhaps, the next national election NOT happening/”being put on hold”…?

    It’s a treacherous path, and the road to totalitarianism is one that is travelled, in increments.

    Very much like a magician (albeit a poor showman), you’re being misdirected to look at the left hand (COVID), all the while, the right hand is where the “magic” is happening (the final nails are being hammered into the coffin of of the last vestiges of the illusion of democracy)…

     

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    1. YoungDawn

      I agree, covid seems to be used as an excuse for people to do/not do what they want as they please.

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  3. fluter

    How is it one person decides to suspend debates? This is certainly not the democracy I have ever voted for. Debates can easily go ahead virtually if the will is there. Shameful abuse of power

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  4. Rob Hailstone

    Sold Subject to Contract? Let’s add a condition that this contract is now exchanged subject to a mortgage offer being obtained, or planning permission being granted, or the missing Deed of of Easement appearing, or Aunt Flo kicking the bucket and leaving me my deposit. And no, a standard contract is as rare as an air kiss in lockdown. Most contacts, if not all, are already conditional in one way or another.
    Whatever new rule is introduced, instruct a conveyancer, six months to complete, it is likely that loopholes will be found and exploited.
    The Devil, will of course, be in the detail.

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  5. AgencyInsider

    Can anyone think of something that changed following one of these petitions being debated? Or are they simply a sop to democracy – giving people the illusion that they have influence over government decision making?

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  6. YoungDawn

    Surely a government decision like this should be discussed rather than just scrapped because they can’t discuss it, dont cancel stamp duty holiday until they are able to discuss it first, isn’t that how our democracy works?

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    1. jan - byers

      No the debates change nothing this nonsense of a 100,000 petition triggering a debate is a waste of time.

       

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  7. smile please

    Why should they extend it?

    They were kind enough to offer it in the first place (thank god!). We have all known the deadline. Agents need to look at themselves for lack of communication if this causes their pipelines to fall through and incur extra expense to movers.

    We have been telling people since November, it will be a hard push to get it through, make sure you have a solid chain and do what you are told, when you are told.

    Everything agreed from December onwards we have asked every link in the chain expected timescales and relayed that information to ALL parties so they can judge if stamp duty saving is feasible or are they happy to pay the TAX (as happy as they can be).

    To all the agents that have opened extra branches off the back of the last 9 months trading, i hope you have put money aside as when April comes, it will be one of the bleakest times to be an estate agent. Stock will plummet and buyers will be scarce.

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    1. Daniel871

      Because when that started the people who’ve managed to save the Stamp Duty were those who were already in the process of buying. They would have bought their property anyhow with or without stamp duty holiday.

      Yes, it was great for these buyers no to pay the SD but did it really pushed the market? No.

      Now the market actually needs SDLT extension so people who’ve only started the process because of the holiday could complete it.

      There is a fair amount of people that had their offer accepted in Oct or Nov when there was enough time and now because of things out of their control, they will not manage to complete before the deadline

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  8. Essjaydee51

    One person planned the strategy of a stamp duty holiday then discussed with colleagues and his boss then instigated it.

    Yesterday one person cancelled any discussions about said stamp duty after speaking to his colleague and his boss.

    I heard no moaning, whining and shouts of this is outrageous when it was given nor of the 6 months life span of it which was also by the way 6 months notice of it ending.

    Yet here we are and the moaning starts because you arent getting your own way and do not try to sell this as its for the good of the buyers and sellers, this is purely greed on your parts to profit further.

    In fact you started moaning when there were still 4 yes FOUR months left till the deadline so how long have you wasted moaning instead of doing your jobs and if an extension is given, how long before you start whining again that its not long enough and its going to cause  problems and sales will fall through all over again!

    Life will never move on except if it goes your way, how sad.

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    1. Steph_r

      It’s not greed. It’s wondering why the government should get thousands of pounds for doing absolutely nothing. Stamp duty is, and always will be, a ridiculous tax to have to pay.

      And it’s not always the sellers fault if the process takes a long time. We had our house up for sale in June. Our agent at the time illegally withheld offers that we would have accepted. We didn’t realise this until we swapped agents in Dec and had one of the people who offered chase it up again. We accepted just after Xmas, but now may miss the stamp duty holiday through no fault of our own. We’ve already lost over £4k because of the previous agents. We now might lose a further £1.5k through stamp duty even though we’re SSTC. That is all our equity from our old property gone. How is that fair?

      Simple solution is the extend the holiday as long as you are sold STC by March 31st.

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