BUDGET 2016: Commercial property SDLT hike will slow investment

16 Mar 2016

Policy area: Tax & Finance

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, comments on plans to increase the highest rate, announced in today’s Budget: “Commercial property investment can often act as the catalyst for regional growth and as the economy has recovered investment has been spreading out from London to the UK’s regions, but will now undoubtedly slow. The real set back in today’s announcement is that development in places like the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands’ Engine will now be held back as a result of this out-of-the-blue raid on commercial property transactions.

"Over a decade ago, the Government of that time decided to decouple the commercial and residential rates of SDLT recognising that the sectors were driven by very different factors and there was no logic in charging the same rates of SDLT on commercial and residential property. We can only hope that today’s announcement isn’t any unravelling of that logic."