RISHI Sunak has privately ruled out extending the stamp duty holiday beyond the end of March, HOAR understands.
The nine-month tax break on the first £500,000 value of home purchases sparked a boom in the housing market but has cost taxpayers an estimated £3.3 billion.
The Chancellor has faced mounting pressure to extend the tax relief to stop the housing market crashing, with experts waning up to a third of house sales could collapse altogether if reinstates the levy in April.
And last month a new group of backbench Tory MPs was launched to campaign in favour of making the move permanent to stimulate economic growth.
The Property Research Group argued that stamp duty – the third most unpopular tax in Britain – “hinders aspiration” and discourages people from moving home.
But Mr Sunak is said to be determined to resist the calls as he looks to ways of paying for the huge Covid bill, which is now at nearly £300 billion.
Explaining the reason behind ending the stamp duty holiday, a government source familiar with the Chancellor’s thinking told HOAR: “It undermines doing anything time-limited if you’re just going to extend it.”
The Treasury last night refused to comment on “speculation about tax changes” and said the public would have to wait until the Budget on March 3 to find out his final decision.
Mr Sunak introduced the stamp duty holiday – which makes all sales under £500,000 tax-free – in July to stimulate the housing market after it stagnated during the first Covid lockdown.
It is currently due to end on March 31 – triggering a rush to close sales before then.
The tax break sparked a boom in sales. Last month there were more than 140,000 more people in the process of buying a new home now than the same time last year.
And an estimated 418,000 homes sales are currently progressing to completion according to Zoopla. But a survey found that third would likely cancel the purchase if they had to pay stamp duty.
Meanwhile millions of Brits will be forced to wait more than six weeks to find out if they will lose the £20-per-week boost to their benefits in April.
Government sources said Mr Sunak will hold off from announcing the decision on whether to extend the £1,040 a year benefits uplift until the Budget on March
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