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Labour Pledges Stamp Duty Help For First-Time Buyers

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-32476194

First-time buyers would be exempt from stamp duty when buying homes for less than £300,000 under a Labour government, Ed Miliband will say.

The Labour leader will call for urgent action to tackle low house-building levels and falling home ownership.

Under Labour's plans, local residents would get "first call" on up to half of new homes in their area for a time.

The Conservatives said Labour's plans were unfunded and they had cut stamp duty for most people since 2010.

Labour's "panicky" announcement would cost more than twice as much as it was claiming, a Conservative spokesman added.

In a speech in Stockton, Teesside, addressing the "modern housing crisis", Mr Miliband will pledge to help young people on to the housing ladder.

"There's nothing more British than the dream of home ownership, and home ownership is out of reach for so many people in our country," he will say. "It's the right thing to do to enable people to get back on the housing ladder and that's what a Labour government will do."

The centrepiece of Labour's plan is a pledge to give first-time buyers a stamp duty "holiday" on purchases of under 300,000.

The measure would apply only in the first three years of a Labour government and, the party says, would cost £225m.

It would be funded by a clampdown on landlords who avoid tax, a cut in tax relief for landlords who fail to maintain properties and increased taxes for foreign property investors.

'Gimmicks'

Buyers currently pay nothing on the first £125,000 of a home's value and are then charged on a sliding scale, starting with 2% on the next £125,000, 5% on the following £675,000, 10% on the next £575,000 and 12% on homes over £1.5m.

Another Labour proposal is to give first-time buyers that have lived in an area for more than three years first refusal on up to half of homes built there, while ensuring new properties are also advertised locally.

"It is no good people seeing houses going up in their community, if they are then not able to buy them because they are snapped up by investors from overseas," Mr Miliband will say.

Shadow Communities Secretary Hilary Benn told the BBC Labour envisaged giving local residents about two months to register their interest, saying this would "strike a fair balance" between helping people onto the housing ladder without damaging the mobility underpinning the market.

According to Land Registry figures published in February, the average house price in England and Wales is £180,252 and is below £300,000 in every region except London. The figure in the capital is £463,872.

The Conservatives said the last Labour government had tried a similar stamp duty holiday in early 2010 and it had "failed" to increase affordability.

On the basis of current market values, the Conservatives said the stamp duty exemptions would cost £1,600 for every home purchased, at a total cost of more than £500m.

"Coming from the people who crashed the housing market and repeatedly raised stamp duty, this won't distract from Ed Miliband's inability to say what deals he will make with the SNP to prop him up in Downing Street," a party spokesman said.

"In contrast to Ed Miliband's gimmicks, because of our balanced economic plan, we've been able to deliver lasting reforms - cutting stamp duty for 98% of people who would have paid it."

On Sunday, Labour pledged to introduce standard three-year tenancies with rent rises capped at inflation, a move the Conservatives said was destined to "force up rents", reduce investment in housing and lead to poorer-quality accommodation.

'Investment vehicles'

But the Green Party will back a similar approach on Monday, as part of a package of measures aimed at making the private rented sector fairer for tenants.

Leader Natalie Bennett will say: "As it stands, the private rental market is structured in a way that benefits landlords over tenants, and treats homes as investment vehicles. As more people rent, rather than own, their homes, it is vital that we correct this imbalance.

The Conservatives have made an extension of right to buy - the scheme offering council house tenants the chance to buy their home at a discount - to about 1.3 million people who live in housing association accommodation a key feature of their manifesto.

They are also pledging discounted homes for first-time buyers, a £1bn fund to "unlock" sites for 400,000 brownfield homes and an extension of the help-to-buy scheme aimed at first-time buyers.

The Lib Dems say they would increase housebuilding to 300,000 a year and help young people living with their parents to raise cash for a housing deposit. They dismissed Labour's stamp duty plans as "unfunded".

"No-one should trust Labour to deliver this commitment because their sums simply do not add up," a spokesman said.

"The Liberal Democrats have been honest about our spending plans; it's time Labour and the Tories did the same."

Complete waste of time, the saving will just be added to the price of the house. Just another prop really. F*tards the lot of them.

Edited by cool_hand

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No matter which party is in power (or aspiring to it) they always come up with pathetic 'chicken feed' solutions.

if Milliband was a surgeon, he'd give you half a junior aspirin as pain relief after just having amputated your leg

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Sounds like desperation.

It is worth listening to the self righteous BTLers and Boomers on the Fivelive phone-in this morning when it turns up on iplayer.

No party getting any traction on a majority.

Welcome to the end of UK majority politics.

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As you say - desperate stuff. One gets the impression the Crash is on its way and the politicos have been informed. Question - how to break it to the people softly, whilst making it look like you tried to help............?

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It is at least a measure that helps to reduce the advantage that BTL'ers have over people who actually want homes.

Still waiting for a Land Tax though.....or pitchforks and burning torches.

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Great way of bringing the housing market to a halt until the legislation is done.

On the contrary! Non-FTB buyers will be in a frenzy to get in ahead of the new price boost.

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It is at least a measure that helps to reduce the advantage that BTL'ers have over people who actually want homes.

Still waiting for a Land Tax though.....or pitchforks and burning torches.

What about first time BTL'ers though, surely they would benefit? Plenty on mumsnet pushing the idea of buying BTL to live in for a year (e.g. while at Uni) then getting tenants in afterwards.

Could existing BTL landlords with their unregulated mortgages fraudulently pose as first time buyers ?

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Sounds like desperation.

It is worth listening to the self righteous BTLers and Boomers on the Fivelive phone-in this morning when it turns up on iplayer.

please don't separate the 2 - you mean Boomer BTLers and BTLers (as in everyone who is into BTL and self righteous) as they are not one and the same - or do you really think they are.

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No stamp duty = put the sale price up by the amount the buyer would have had to pay for stamp duty.

100% correct, guaranteed.

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It is at least a measure that helps to reduce the advantage that BTL'ers have over people who actually want homes.

Still waiting for a Land Tax though.....or pitchforks and burning torches.

It's in the LibDem manifesto and the LibDems will almost certainly get a snifter of power after the election.

If those useless donkeys plan on having a future it'd be a good idea for them to flog what is traditionally the Liberal solution to it. They would have the merit of it actually having a sound policy on something, too!

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No stamp duty = put the sale price up by the amount the buyer would have had to pay for stamp duty.

100% correct, guaranteed.

Actually, I've found that since they changed the stamp duty at 250,000 that prices have now gone up a between 20,000 and 30,000.

So houses that were no for 255,000 (to 260,000) and being sold for 250,000 now go for 265,000 to 280,00.

Thanks George. Yeah you've really helped.

Edited by Ultra Fox

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What idiots!

They were doing quite well with the housing election pledges until this.

No point in repeating why it's a rubbish idea. I wonder how many priced-out potential FTBers actually fall for this crap these days? The Tories have been doing this for years, and it doesn't seem to do their support much good.

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What a daft policy. No doubt the Labour backers had a word with Milly and his mates , after all that fighting talk re. non-doms etc last week. Can't take away the punch bowl completely....

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If you have not listened to this it is a good chuckle listening to all the owners and btlers whinge about Labour's plans.

Radio 5 Phone-in on Labour's property plans:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05s0vq0

Yep; I caught some of it... has to be listened to, and suffered, as a HPC duty.

We need some sudden market-shock, or political turn from younger generations, to knock these politicians 'help' policies clean away.

Two-Kitchens in a short Iplayer piece (21 secs), away from the stage. Smiley smiley... "the right thing to do" - Bubble 2.0.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-32476194

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