Peter Rollings' response to the Finance Bill
Tue 11 Dec 2012
"Its a step in the right direction that key components of the housing market such as property developers, traders, rental businesses and charities may now face relief from the new levy, but those using a company to protect their anonymity - whether celebrities or Oligarchs will be among the big losers of the draft Bill. Many buyers use special purpose vehicles to defend their privacy when they buy in the UK, rather than simply to avoid stamp duty charges, and the financial cost now involved in doing so is likely to act as a strong deterrent.
"While the changes are broadly as expected, the concern is that the generally heavier-handed approach from the Treasury towards the upper end of the housing market including the higher stamp duty tax on homes worth more than 2m at the last budget will send the message that the UK is increasingly unwelcoming to high net worth buyers. If the cumulative effects of government tax policy artificially stop the wealthy be they foreign or British from buying in the capital, it will be to the detriment of the economy as well as the housing market. We should be persuading much needed wealth creators to come to the UK, along with the business, employment and consumer spending they bring, rather than encouraging them to stay away."