Thank you for contacting me about Stamp Duty Land Tax. I welcome the temporary cut to Stamp Duty Land Tax for home buyers across England and Northern Ireland until the end of the financial year and I am sorry to hear of your disappointment that this policy has not been backdated.
The Temporary Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) cut will temporarily increase the Nil Rate Band of Residential SDLT, in England and Northern Ireland, from £125,000 to £500,000. This applies from 8 July 2020 until 31 March 2021 and cut the tax due for everyone who would have paid SDLT. According to the Treasury’s Plan for Jobs, nearly nine out of ten people getting on or moving up the property ladder will pay no SDLT at all as a result of this change.
I have spoken with colleagues at the Treasury to raise your concerns. I am not aware of any plans to backdate this measure, and my understanding is that the timing of its implementation was subject to significant consideration. I understand this must be frustrating, so please be assured that I have raised this with Ministers.
I welcome this measure as a crucial intervention to ensure medium-term confidence in the property market and maintain the growing momentum since the easing of lockdown. According to Nationwide, UK house prices fell in the year to June 2020 for the first time in almost 8 years. The outlook for the housing market is closely linked to consumer confidence and therefore central to the economic recovery, and this measure will be vital in building said confidence.
I am confident that this action to support the housing market will protect and create jobs. In England and Wales, an estimated 240,000 people are directly employed by housebuilders and their contractors, and between 500,000 and 700,000 employees are indirectly supported in the supply chain. Moving to a new house also boosts the economy, with estimates suggesting that doing so drives additional spending worth about 5% of the house value.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me and I am sorry that you have not been able to benefit from this incentive on this occassion.