It's getting to that time of year again - the Chancellor is prepping for his second major planned speech of the year - the Autumn budget. But what can we expect to hear from Mr Hammond in the upcoming Budget?
When's it happening?
Wednesday, November 22nd November. Proceedings are due to start at 12.30pm and a fun fact for you, the Budget is the only time when a minister is allowed to partake in an alcoholic drink whilst at the Commons dispatch box – good to see it’s taken seriously!
I thought it was the Autumn statement in November?
Not any more! The primary budget will now be announced in the Autumn, with the mini Budget read in the Spring. The government only wants one major financial event a year – according to Phillip Hammond in 2016 ‘no other major economy makes hundreds of tax changes twice a year, and neither should we.’ This new timetable is designed to streamline the system, and allow for any changes to be examined more rigorously before they are announced publicly and potentially implemented.
So, what are we likely to hear?
Mr Hammond was criticised for his Spring budget, with people claiming he lacked policies with any substance to deal effectively with the housing crisis. However, with Brexit biting at his heels, it could be that once again we may see a Budget with its primary concerns elsewhere.
However, initial predictions would suggest that there are likely to be a few changes that might have an impact on the property market – and by default, landlords.
Stamp down on stamp duty
There are whispers about changes to stamp duty, but don’t get your hopes up, there’s very little chance of the additional 3% for landlords being scrapped. The word on the grapevine is that sines its introduction this additional levy has pocketed more than £1.7billion to the coffers since it was introduced, so it’s unlikely that any Government is going to do away with such a lucrative deal.
However, there are likely to be changes afoot.
Some experts are predicting the removal of stamp duty for ‘older homeowners’, in a bid to encourage movement in this section of the market. Encouraging downsizing, and the provision of additional existing stock to the market would create a natural flow of opportunity for first time buyers to get a foot on the ladder.
This week, news has been released about the potential for a cut in stamp duty for first time buyers to just 1%. The exclusive news, which ran in the Evening Standard – a newspaper edited by former Chancellor George Osborne – announced that the move was designed to ‘help people in their twenties and thirties and restore ‘inter-generational fairness’ to the system’.
Student loans shake up
There could be good news for landlords who specialise in student accommodation, with potential plans afoot to shake up the student loans.
Following her recent announcement at the Conservative Party conference (possibly following such a successful response to the Labour election campaign?), the Prime Minister announces her intention to freeze tuition fees at £9,250 a year, and increase the repayment threshold to £25,000.
With prices having crept up over the past few years, this promised steadying of fees may encourage more school leavers into a further education at University – great news for landlords looking to build a future in the student letting market.
However, how this boom in student HMO requirements will work in our already busy university towns will work in practice – let’s watch this space!
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