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Campaign to extend SDLT holiday nears landmark total

Campaign to extend SDLT holiday nears landmark total

The online petition calling for an extension to the stamp duty holiday is set to pass 100,000 signatures today.

This means the government will be obliged to consider holding a debate on the subject of the petition.

The petition – which you can see here – was started in October by a buyer wanting a new home.

It has been actively promoted by agents, buyers, solicitors, mortgage lenders and surveyors.

Jonathan Steel’s new build home is scheduled to complete at the start of March.

But if the build is delayed past March 31 – the current stamp duty holiday deadline – he says his dream home will be unaffordable.

“I will not be able to afford the stamp duty so will not be able to afford the house” he says, explaining how his petition came about.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is under pressure to announce an extension with many senior industry figures – including TV property expert Phil Spencer – predicting mayhem and soaring fall throughs if the holiday ends in a so-called cliff edge deadline.

The need to consider holding a debate on the issue, as a result of the petition, will add to that pressure.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown caused uncertainty for those buying and selling residential property and property transactions fell by as much as 50% during the first national lockdown.

“To stimulate immediate momentum in the property market and to support the jobs of people whose employment relied on custom from the property industry, the government decided to introduce a temporary Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) relief. This relief increased the starting threshold of residential SDLT from £125,000 to £500,000 from the 8 July 2020 until 31 March 2021.

“Since the relief was introduced, transactions have increased and seasonally adjusted data shows that in October 2020, transactions were 8% higher than October 2019.

“As the relief was to provide an immediate stimulus to the property market, the Government does not plan to extend this relief. SDLT is an important source of government revenue, raising several billion pounds each year to help pay for the essential services the Government provides.

“The government is committed to supporting home ownership and helping people get on and move up the housing ladder. When the SDLT Holiday ends, the Government will maintain a SDLT relief for first time buyers which increases the starting threshold of residential SDLT to £300,000 for first-time buyers that purchase a property below £500,000. In addition, a new Help to Buy scheme will be introduced from 1 April 2021. This scheme will run until March 2023.

“All tax policy is kept under review and the government considers the views it receives carefully as part of that process.”

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