Reduced rates of SDLT on residential property for a temporary period

Part of Stamp Duty Land Tax (Temporary Relief) Bill – in the House of Commons at 8:31 pm on 13th July 2020.

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Photo of Dan Carden Dan Carden Shadow Financial Secretary (Treasury) 8:31 pm, 13th July 2020

It is a pleasure to speak in the Committee stage of the Bill. The Bill was only published at the beginning of the debate, and it has just two clauses. I will direct my remarks primarily to our new clause 1. We are asking the Government at least to accept the principle behind the new clause. I do not think the Financial Secretary to the Treasury was able to put our minds at rest on the question of which people and groups will benefit from the cut set out in the Bill. He said that it was quite untrue that it would benefit the owners of second homes or multiple homes, but I think we need a review to give us the facts. We need to find out whether first-time buyers, existing owner-occupiers moving home, buy-to-let investors, those buying second homes and overseas buyers are among groups that will benefit from the policy.

The Financial Secretary did not give us a clear response to the fact that £1.3 billion of the cost of this scheme looks likely to benefit those who are already home owners. We want the Government to commit to reviewing the Bill’s impact in an open and transparent way. We want to know whether such a large sum will deliver value for money and what the broader impact of this will be on the housing sector. The Government should want to consider how this, their flagship policy, will contribute to solving the housing crisis and how it will impact on the economy overall. Our new clause will help to achieve that, and the Government should accept it.