Housing industry calls for stamp duty holiday

The National Federation of Builders and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in calling for a temporary stamp duty holiday in order to protect the industry from the worst of the coronavirus lockdown effects.

Housing development

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “A temporary stamp duty holiday would encourage new build sales and release some much needed cashflow back to our struggling housebuilders. It would also ensure vital businesses, such as surveyors and conveyancers, are able to continue operating in these difficult times. We support it.”

The Government recommends that construction continues and it is also supporting house moves, where the process has already begun, or where homes are vacant. The NFB believes that the option of a stamp duty holiday is therefore sensible and immediately deliverable, as are campaigns to defer planning contributions and council tax on vacant new builds, as well as extend planning permissions by 12 months.

Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing and planning policy at the House Builders Association (HBA), the housebuilding division of the NFB, said: “Housebuilders, many of whom are struggling to get lending from the Government CBILS scheme, are still expected to pay bills, their staff and the supply chain but with reduced or no revenues. A temporary stamp duty holiday is another immediately deliverable solution that the Government should pursue. Any delay in increasing support to our industry will see businesses go to the wall and once one goes, the domino effect will be striking.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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