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The Budget 2017

Philip Hammond delivered his second Budget as Chancellor of the Exchequer on 22 November 2017. It was relatively unexciting from a tax point of view but there were nevertheless a few eye catching announcements:

SDLT relief for first time buyers

This was the announcement that stole all of the headlines in the newspapers. Buyers purchasing a first home will not pay SDLT if the purchase price is £300,000 or below. If the consideration for the property is between £300,001-£500,000 SDLT will be payable at 5%/. To the extent the consideration exceeds £500,000 there will be no SDLT relief.

The Office for Budget Responsibility anticipates that this measure will enable only 3,500 first time buyers to get on the property ladder and speculates that the measure will in fact increase house prices. It's cost is anticipated to be £3.2bn (i.e £924,285.71 per individual it helps on the property ladder). It may have perhaps just been simpler to give 3,500 first time buyers £924,285.71 so that they could be a nicer house!

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