Clause 313 - Transactions funded with the assistance of a public subsidy

Part of Finance (No. 2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:30 am on 18 May 2023.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 11:30, 18 May 2023

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Stringer.

As a matter of housekeeping, I should say that the shadow Minister, the hon. Member for Ealing North, asked me questions on Tuesday regarding the implementation of changes to the company share option plan, and I committed to write to him with those details. That letter has gone to him this morning, with copies deposited in the Libraries of the Houses. Indeed, I have also arranged for it to be sent to the other Committee members, for their convenience.

The clause will amend existing stamp duty land tax rules to ensure that registered providers of social housing are exempt from the tax when purchasing property using funding allocated under section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003. In December last year, the Government announced an additional £650 million for the Homes for Ukraine support package, which included giving local authorities in England an additional £0.5 billion to reduce homelessness by obtaining housing to reduce pressure on social housing and to help accommodate Ukrainian and Afghan refugees. On 28 March this year, the Government announced a further £250 million of funding, the majority of which will be used to house Afghan families in bridging accommodation. The rest will be used to ease existing homelessness pressures.

The additional funding, as I said, is allocated under section 31 of the Local Government Act, and the existing stamp duty land tax system includes an exemption for social housing purchases. However, not all social housing providers in receipt of the additional funding would benefit from those exemptions, so we are looking to correct that and to enable registered providers of social housing to benefit from the exemption when they use the new funding. It is a sensible clarification and I hope that the Committee will support the clause standing part of the Bill.