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July 2

by Millie Wickens
Labour reveals plans for buy to let changes

Labour has released a report revealing its plans for a host of new taxes and buy to let changes if the party wins the next general election.

The party has promised to end a ‘buy to let frenzy’ that Labour claims has gripped the country for a decade or more.

The Land for Many report, an independent report commissioned by the Labour Party, contains bold proposals on how to make land developments more accessible, affordable and accountable to communities across the country.  A number of recommendations for reform are set out within the report, for possible inclusion in the next Labour party manifesto regarding property.

Much of the paper focuses on land ownership in England, arguing that the concentration of land ownership by a small number of people has worsened economic inequality and the housing crisis. However, the paper also includes a number of recommendations regarding tax and policy changes which would impact those with a stake in the private rented sector.

The main policy statements intended to reverse the perceived crisis include:

  • Introducing mandatory 36-month tenancies without any clause to allow landlords to reclaim their properties in order to sell or refurbish
  • Increasing capital gains tax rates in line with the income tax basic (18 per cent to 20 per cent) and higher rates (28 per cent to 40 per cent)
  • Limiting rent increases to the level of inflation
  • Replacing council tax with a progressive property tax paid by owners instead of tenants

Labour wants a shift in thinking to stop investors looking at land and property as a financial asset, grabbing land for public ownership as parks, allotments and open spaces it argues should be shared by all.

“For too long, people across the country have had little or no say over the decisions that affect their communities and the places in which they live.  So much of this can be traced back to the broken system of land ownership. Concentration of land in the hands of a few has led to unwanted developments, unaffordable house prices, financial crises and environmental degradation,” said a Labour spokesman.

“Labour is committed to tackling these head on and delivering a fundamental shift in wealth and power from the few to the many.”

Read more in the ‘The Land for Many’ report.

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