Labour criticises govt’s new stamp duty reforms

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LONDON: Labour Party has criticised over government’s new stamp duty reforms and Labour’s shadow housing secretary John Healey said cutting stamp duty without an increase in affordable housing would drive up prices. He said: “The number of young home-owners is in free-fall but under the Tories the number of new low-cost homes for first-time buyers has halved and not a single one of the 200,000 ‘starter homes’ promised has been built.

LONDON: Cllr Saima Ashraf, shadow housing minister John Healey, leader of the council Darren Rodwell and Cllr Cameron Geddes during a recent campaign for housing. Shadow minister backs ‘innovative’ plan to boost home ownership in Barking and Dagenham. (File picture)

“After almost eight years of Conservative failure on housing, homelessness has doubled, homeownership has fallen to a 30-year low and the number of new social rented homes is at the lowest level since records began.”It’s clear Theresa May has no plan to fix the country’s housing crisis.” Government says that more than 16,000 first-time buyers have saved thousands of pounds as a result of stamp duty changes. Chancellor Philip Hammondcutstampdutycutfor95% offirst-timebuyers,with80%paying none at all, in his November Budget. According to the government, the changesmeansavingsofupto£5,000 for first-time buyers. The Autumn Budget abolished stamp duty for first-time buyers of homes up to £300,000. For properties costing up to £500,000, no stamp duty will be paid on the first £300,000.