Following the recent change in prime minister, the UK government unveiled its new fiscal approach on 23 September. Even though the government was clear this was not a budget, most people saw things differently. As is now the way, many of the proposals were leaked in advance - but, for UK real estate, its worth noting the following:
- the "growth" agenda is intended to apply to home ownership with the nil-rate band for SDLT doubling to £250k (from 23 September) and first time buyer SDLT relief now up to £425k (previously £325k). A new strategy for housing delivery is apparently being worked on - but no indication as yet as to when this will be shared outside Whitehall;
- creation of "investment zones": various sites (yet to be identified) are to benefit from significant tax advantages over a 10 year period to encourage businesses to set up there. These benefits including an SDLT exemption for commercial property and land for new residential development;
- the promise of change to planning rules (intended to speed things up for infrastructure development).
And generally there were of course the more headline-grabbing tax rate announcements (corporation tax staying at 19%; for income tax, the scrapping of the 45% band and a reduction of the basic rate to 19% (both from April 2023) and then the repeal of the health and social care levy introduced in April this year). Plus ca change...