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Stamp duty holiday debate in the balance

As the Stamp Duty Holiday debate rages on MP’s have started to debate the issue with the fear of hundreds of property deals falling through. Marc Da Silva of The Daily Mail reports:

‘Thousands of residential property transactions could collapse if the stamp duty holiday ends next month, MPs warned yesterday.

A cross-party debate heard that transactions worth billions of pounds were at risk unless the tax cut was extended, with signs that some deals are already starting to fall through.

There was general support from both the Labour and Conservative MPs who took part in the 65-minute online discussion for an extension to the stamp duty holiday, while Sarah Olney, the Liberal Democrat MP for Richmond Park, argued against extending the scheme, as it would, in her view, “deprive the Treasury of much-needed funds at a time when there are many extremely pressing calls upon our public finances”.

Mark Hayward, chief policy adviser, Propertymark, commented: “We are pleased to see that there is clearly cross-party support for a holiday extension or tapered end given the concerning cliff-edge is now only two months away.

“The housing market boom, caused by the stamp duty holiday, has been hugely beneficial; however, the stamp duty cliff edge on the 31st March could cause thousands of sales to fall at the final hurdle and have a knock on and drastic effect on the housing market which has recovered well from the Covid slump.”

Jesse Norman, a treasury minister, appeared to suggest the March 31 deadline would remain in place, pointing out that the stamp duty holiday was designed to be a temporary relief to stimulate market activity and support jobs that rely on the property market.

However, he did make an interesting comment when he said the government acknowledged the “strong feeling on this issue”, adding that he “fully understands the frustrations of those who are, as we speak, in the process of purchasing a property”.

But ultimately, he concluded that it was not appropriate to “comment on tax policy outside a fiscal event” during the debate.’

It seems that the decision is very much in the balance with government trying to balance the issue of further loss of revenue against doing the popular thing of extending the deadline thus postponing this conversation to later in the year when no doubt the Stamp Duty Holiday Debate will rise again.

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