HAYES IN THE HOUSE: By MP John Hayes
The UK is now the fastest-growing major economy in the world – with growth of three per cent forecast for this year, better than previously expected.
With the deficit halved, unemployment falling, job creation soaring, and inflation down, we are on the right path towards building a more secure and stronger economic future.
The housing market is key to this stable economy; for the construction industry and the other trades which benefit from house building, and for people who want to own their own home.
That is why I’ve always supported the excellent Help to Buy scheme, which has, to date, helped over 50,000 people buy their own home – 82 per cent of whom were first-time buyers.
The housing market must be made to work better if people are able to buy the homes they need and want, which is why, as shadow housing minister, I developed plans for shared equity schemes to enable more people to become home owners. Shared equity is now an established part of the housing market.
Stamp duty has long been another fundamental impediment to a properly functioning housing market, distorting the market with big jumps in taxes when house values climbed into a new band. It unfairly penalised families wishing to move to a home to meet their needs, simply because the asking price crossed a particular arbitrary threshold.
The new slice system, announced by the chancellor this week, will work like income tax, so you only pay the higher rate on the part of the property that falls within that band.
Some 98 per cent of buyers who pay stamp duty will pay less. The buyer of a South Holland home worth £180,000 will save £700 under the new system. Only buyers of properties worth a million pounds or more will end up paying a higher rate of stamp duty.
This is a tax cut of £800 million a year, welcome to everyone from the first time buyer to the pensioner who wants to downsize to a smaller property. I know our high streets and local firms will have welcomed the continued cap on business rates, and pensioners, especially, will be delighted by the further increase in the personal tax allowance and changes which mean that a husband or wife will be able to inherit their partner’s ISA and keep its tax free status.
And, as minister with responsibility for roads, I am particularly excited by the biggest and most ambitious road improvement programmes for decades; £15.2 billion being spent to increase the capacity and condition of England’s roads, with over 100 new road schemes announced, and over 1,300 new lane miles added to motorways and trunk roads.
Hauliers and motorists tell me that these improvements to the A1 and A47 will make a huge difference to our area. Now I am campaigning to improve the A16 and A17.
This week’s autumn statement, particularly the cut in stamp duty, will benefit home buyers throughout South Holland and the Deepings and across the rest of the county. These changes are fair and reasonable because they fuel aspiration and service wellbeing.
To find out more about Help to Buy call my office on 01775 711534 .