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Call Off Duty: petition for reforms to stamp duty tax

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The readers of Property Week have officially called on chancellor Philip Hammond to announce reforms to the punitive stamp duty regime in his Budget speech on 8 March.

_CALL OFF DUTY logo

This Tuesday, associate editor Adam Branson and digital news editor Samuel Horti delivered a petition signed by more than 100 companies to the Treasury. The petition and accompanying letter were whisked straight to Hammond’s private office.

In the letter, Property Week editor Liz Hamson laid out a list of five demands to the chancellor, based on reader feedback  to our Call Off Duty campaign, launched in December.

The reforms together constitute the single biggest way of boosting the delivering of homes in the UK.

Stamp Duty Petition

Property Week’s Adam Branson and Samuel Horti delivered the petition to Downing Street this week

Property Week launched Call Off Duty after Hammond failed to announce any changes to stamp duty land tax (SDLT) in the Autumn Statement, despite coming under pressure from the industry to do so.

Over the past three months, we have made the case that the current regime, introduced by Hammond’s predecessor George Osborne, discourages first-time buyers, puts institutional investors off the nascent build-to-rent sector and cripples transaction volumes and development in the South East.

Encouragingly, communities secretary Sajid Javid is reported to have shown support for changes to the tax and, in particular, for older people to be exempt if they are downsizing, on the grounds that this would help them move and free up thousands of family homes for younger buyers.

Disappointingly, no reforms were forthcoming in the government’s housing white paper, released earlier this month. However, there are still two opportunities for Hammond to make the much-needed changes: the Budget next month and the new November Budget, which is replacing the Autumn Statement.

Property Week hopes the industry’s calls do not fall on deaf ears and eagerly awaits the Treasury’s response.

“In the government’s own words, ‘the housing market is broken’,” wrote Hamson. “Reforming SDLT will go a long way towards fixing it.”

Sign our petition here and join the clamour of voices calling on Hammond to Call Off Duty.

We may have delivered the petition to No.11 Downing Street but we still need your support.

If you want the chancellor to heed your calls for change to the stamp duty regime, make sure you add your name to the campaign here:

Call Off Duty demands

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Readers' comments (3)

  • I fully support the call to stop this punitive tax, but do people realise just how far George Osborne went with hitting Landlords. He closed the tax break on wear and tear on property which will cost Landlords throughout the country millions of pounds. He is also closing the tax break on interest payments on mortgages which will be fully closed within 3/4 years. Again this will cost landlords millions of pounds. We are small property company and the changes to the wear and tear and loss of tax on interest payments will cost us an estimated extra £25,000 next year. To big businesses this does not sound anything but to us small businesses it will more than likely push us out of the market. these changes and the result of them are barely mentioned in the media but it will create an awful lot of rent hikes and fewer homes to rent. Many of the Landlords in my area are already selling up. That will really help people who simply cannot get a mortgage or find a suitable home to rent.

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  • Agree with demand 1 but none of the others. Current Stamp duty has been reduced for sales under £1m; it hasn't deterred institutional PRS purchases; and landlords are fortunate they are not faced with rent caps, cpo's and longer, secure tenancies -all of which are probably needed in London & South-East.

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  • You're wrong on Point 4. SDLT has increased under the new rules. PwC/Mail on Sunday clearly can't read.

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  • Hi Ashley, thanks for reading the piece - that's actually our request, for SDLT to come down

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