Fergus Wilson Panorama documentary – now available on iPlayer22:10 PM, 18th March 2019
About 4 days ago 93
This is the response to my email from Ed Davey MP regarding the property tax petition issue. I signed the petition some weeks ago and the government rejected it.
Thank you for your email regarding mortgage interest relief and stamp duty surcharge, and please accept my apologies for the long delay in replying.
We do need a thriving private rented sector – both locally and nationally – and I’ve always been keen for the local authority and Government to do whatever they can reasonably do to boost the sector.
These particular measures are indeed highly controversial, as they form part of the Conservative Government’s “stealth tax” approach to tackling the country’s continuing deficit. They appear to have been passed by Parliament during my time out of Parliament, so as far as I can tell, it was my immediate predecessor, James Berry, a Conservative, who voted on them – and it appears he supported them.
My research shows that Conservative Ministers are trying to justify the tax rise, by arguing that the “buy-to-let” sector has unfair tax advantages over those wanting to buy their own home, especially first time buyers.
I do believe it’s important to have a tax system that is fair to all, and doesn’t “skew” investment between different people or companies – unless that is both transparent, and justified by evidence.
In your case, I do not believe the Government have justified their claims by evidence. So while I am not in principle against the measures, I do believe Ministers have failed to make their case, with potentially bad impacts on the rented sector. That is indeed very worrying, given how important the sector is.
Once again thank you for contacting me regarding this matter and please feel free to contact me again should you wish to raise any future issues.
Rt Hon Sir Edward Davey MP Kingston and Surbiton (Liberal Democrat)
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