The Chancellor is expected to announce a six-month stamp duty holiday to help Britain’s flagging house market, according to reports.
Rishi Sunak is understood to be drawing up proposals to raise the property tax threshold as high as £500,000, in a bid to exempt most homebuyers from paying any stamp duty and kickstart Britain’s economy, The Times reports.
Mr Sunak will reportedly reveal plans this week to increase the threshold at which people start paying stamp duty.
The new threshold would be put in place for six months to stimulate demand and is expected to be set betwen £300,000 and £500,000.
First time buyers are already exempt from stamp duty on home of up to £500,000 in London and £300,000 in the rest of the UK.
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Brits were warned not to move house during the lockdown and while this restriction has since been lifted, the market is in need of a shot in the arm.
House sales in April fell to their lowest levels since records began, according to HM Revenue & Customs figures.
As reported in June, the average UK house price fell for the third month in a row in May, according Halifax.
A 0.2% month-on-month decline in May followed a 0.6% drop in April and 0.3% fall in March – seeing the average house price stand at £237,808.
That’s more than £2,500 down on February’s £240,461.
Mr Sunak is set to give an economic update to MPs on Wednesday but it is understood the stamp duty holiday will not be announced until the next Budget.
It comes as key figures in the housing and retirement industries wrote to the Chancellor to urge him to launch a new Help to Downsize scheme to further boost the property market.
In a letter, industry bosses had called for stamp duty to be waived for older homeowners moving to smaller homes and free up bigger properties for expanding families, reports the Daily Mail.
Meanwhile, the Government yesterday announced a £1.57 billion support package to “protect” the future of Britain’s museums, galleries and theatres.
Mr Sunak said the arts and heritage sectors employ more than 700,000 people and were “critical” to the UK’s economy.
While former advisers to five Tory prime ministers and chancellors have urged the government to focus immeditately on “jobs, jobs, jobs” in order to decrease debt by 2024.
Economic advisers to George Osborne, David Cameron, Theresa May, Philip Hammond and Sajid Javid have set out a plan for the UK’s recovery from coronavirus which includes a national debt restructuring agency and an unprecedented skills and jobs package.
Mr Sunak must be prepared to focus his full efforts on jobs as the extraordinary nature of the pandemic demands an urgent response, the former No 10 and Treasury advisers write in a report for think tank Onward published on Monday.