MPs across all parties have backed stamp duty reform with the majority wanting an extension, but the Treasury has yet to announce a change.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a stamp duty holiday last July that cut the tax on the purchases of homes up to £500,000 in England and Wales. It is set to end on 31 March.
Yesterday afternoon (2 February) ministers debated whether the stamp duty holiday should be extended after a petition titled ‘‘Extend the Stamp Duty Holiday for an additional six months after 31 March 2021’, attracted more than 140,000 signatures.
Labour MP Janet Daby said the stamp duty holiday has helped first-time buyers and resulted in a surge in transactions, which benefits the economy.
She said it should be extended like other financial measures to support people during the pandemic have been.
Conservative MP Matthew Offord said that an extension until the end of the year would lead to a 10 per cent rise in transactions and encourage people to downsize, which would then help first-time buyers.
Labour MP Barbara Keeley said that without an extension, tens of thousands of people would see their purchases fall through while still having to pay legal expenses, and that people who have made a commitment when reasonably expecting they would not pay stamp duty should not be penalised.
Meanwhile, Kevin Hollinrake, Conservative MP and outgoing chairman of Hunters estate agency, said that buyers that have reached a certain stage of their purchase should be allowed to resume and feel the benefit from the stamp duty holiday.
He said that extending it would just create another cliff edge which is just counter-productive, and instead there is a strong case for longer-term more comprehensive reform.
Conservative MP Ben Everitt said that rather an overnight sudden end to the stamp duty holiday, he would be hoping for a gradual and fair end to it.
Responding to the debate on behalf of the government, Conservative MP and financial secretary to the Treasury Jesse Norman, said that the stamp duty break has worked very well but that he cannot comment on tax policy “outside a fiscal event”.
The P2P sector has repeatedly called for the extension of the stamp duty holiday, and for it to be reviewed by the government.
Last week, speaking at the P2P Investing Summit (28 January), a virtual event hosted by Peer2Peer Finance News and AngelNews, industry stakeholders called for an extension to the stamp duty holiday and a tiered approach when it ends.