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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Slash stamp duty and scrap CGT on buy to let sales, says top Tory

An ex-housing minister and ex-Brexit secretary says he wants to radically change taxes on buy to let capital appreciation to help more private renters to become owner occupiers.

Dominic Raab makes the call in a Daily Telegraph article seen as part of a pitch to become the next Conservative party leader.

Raab’s idea involves harnessing some of the 28 per cent capital gains tax now paid by landlords who sell their rental units. 

"For private renters, we should encourage landlords to sell to sitting tenants by allowing a rebate on the Capital Gains Tax on the sale, up to £35,000” says Raab.

The Telegraph likens this to an idea from the right-wing think tank Onward which some months ago proposed scrapping the CGT payment on buy to let sales and instead splitting the ‘windfall’ evenly between the landlord and tenant, giving the tenant thousands of pounds towards their mortgage deposit. 

Raab’s idea is slightly different:"Tenants could receive two-thirds, towards a 10 per cent deposit to buy the property, with the landlord receiving a third” he says.

He appears not to have gone on the record with such proposals when he was housing minister between January 9 and July 9 last year, and he does not even include housing in the six ‘core convictions’ he lists on his website.

However, his call now for stamp duty to be scrapped on homes sold for £500,000 or below - extending existing stamp duty changes made by the Conservatives in recent years - is said to echo a call he made some years ago.

Raab’s Telegraph article also gets tough with developers. 

"Successive governments haven’t been radical enough in taking on the vested interests to get enough homes built to keep them affordable. Having served as housing minister, I saw that challenge first-hand – and understand the radical reforms a pioneering Conservative government must deliver, to give working Britain a fairer deal” he writes.

He calls for sanctions to be imposed on developers who fail to build houses at the rates they promise, when they purchase a plot and secure planning permission. 

He also wants beefed up powers for SME developers and community organisations to buy council land"where a developer persistently fails to keep its word."

Raab continues: ”Planning permissions should be treated like contracts for delivery with councils given the power to sell sites to smaller developers or community groups, where a developer persistently fails to keep its word."

The Telegraph lists Raab as one of 15 Conservative MP likely to want to become leader when Theresa May quits.

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