UK budget sees SDLT cut for first-time buyers

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is to be abolished for most first-time buyers in England and Wales under Chancellor Philip Hammond’s budget, as reported by BBC News.

Purchasers buying their first home will not be liable for SDLT on the first £300,000 of a property’s value, saving £5,000. The Chancellor said the move was intended to make it easier for people to get onto the housing ladder.

SDLT is currently payable on properties sold for more than £125,000 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, the duty is payable on properties over £145,000. The Chancellor said the cut would benefit 95% of first-time buyers.

The Chancellor has also promised that the government will deliver 300,000 new homes annually to reduce the housing shortage. The budget contains £44bn in capital investment and other measures to stimulate building programmes.

Growth forecasts for the UK have been revised down amid uncertainty about the Brexit negotiations. The Office for Budget Responsibility’s prediction is now 1.5% growth in 2017; in March 2017 the projected figure was 2%.

Other key announcements from Hammond’s budget speech included a £1.5bn fund to “address concerns” about the introduction of the Universal Credit benefit scheme, £400m to build a new infrastructure for electric cars and £300m for connections between the HS2 rail scheme and other railway networks in the North of England.