Former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2010–2016), Iain Duncan Smith (IDS), the architect of the Universal Credit (UC) system, which is currently being rolled out across the country in one test area after another, writing in the Sunday Telegraph, says that small-scale buy-to-let landlords have been treated badly by Osborne’s tax measures and that:
“…it is time to look again at the way we treat private landlords who buy houses to rent. George Osborne’s decisions to impose a stamp duty levy on the purchase of homes to rent, to restrict mortgage interest relief to the basic rate of income tax and to tax a landlord’s turnover rather than profits have led to landlords scaling back or even leaving the sector altogether.
Commenting on the far Left view, their pressing for the re-nationalising of social housing and the ending of private property rights, IDS says: “that kind of ‘government knows best’ view may seem alluring, but those of us who remember the sink estates, vast rent arrears and often sub-standard housing when councils ran social housing know that it is far from a panacea.”
On the other hand he says, private landlords are “…a significant provider of the additional housing we need.”
“We should be encouraging them with devices such as VAT relief on conversions or even capital allowances, not punishing them. It’s no wonder buy-to-let purchases have fallen dramatically. If the purpose was to stop foreign owners buying up property and leaving it empty we would be better off levying a tax on empty homes. For example, in New York, apartments can incur a tax of up to $20,000 if they are left empty. We are in danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water.
“I believe social housing is the issue of our time and that is why I have asked the Centre for Social Justice to put together a team of all parties to review this and recommend the necessary changes. The British people need calm heads, not political point-scoring, as we work to improve the lives of those in social housing.”
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Time to look again at the Landlord Tax says Iain Duncan Smith https://t.co/E5YrTjl4uV
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) July 4, 2017