Lindhurst encourages Government to change tack on property taxes

The SNP Government must tackle the consequences of its Land and Buildings Transaction Tax, a Lothian MSP has said, after serious slowdown in the Scottish property market. Gordon Lindhurst MSP urged the Government to “fully reform his approach to taxation and taxes”.

 

His calls came following comments made by key industry figures that the market is in serious slowdown because the replacement for stamp duty is uncompetitive, leading to steep drops in the sales of high end and second homes. As a result of the slowdown in the property market, Scotland has slipped two places on the latest Barclays UK Prosperity Map, released yesterday.

 

At portfolio questions today Gordon said:

“This summer the Scottish housing market was in a serious slowdown, reportedly stagnating in July.

Policies of this government, such as the LBTT, are stifling investment at the middle and higher end of the market.

Does the Cabinet Secretary agree that to improve the economy, the Government needs to fully reform its approach to taxation and taxes such as the LBTT?”

 

Speaking after asking his question, Gordon said,

“I am aware that the LBTT introduced in 2015 has led to decisions locally not to move home for many people. Hopefully the recent reports of a slowing property market, and the effect that is having on economic growth in Scotland as witnessed in the Barclays UK Prosperity Map , will provide a wake-up call to Government Ministers. The Programme for Government was not ambitious enough yesterday. What we need is a root and branch reform of LBTT. Until that happens I fear the property market, as well as our economy, will continue to grind to a halt.”