Arundel & South Downs MP, Andrew Griffith, has called on the Chancellor to introduce a stamp duty break for ‘downsizers’ to help prevent new housing development on greenfield sites in rural West Sussex.
Speaking in Parliament during the second reading of the Finance Bill, Andrew encouraged the Government to bring forward an exemption to stamp duty for those looking to downsize their home. He argued that stamp duty was a “real brake” on downsizing, preventing older homeowners across the country from moving to more suitable accommodation for their needs should they so wish and therefore preventing growing families being able to trade up.
Highlighting his constituents’ concerns over “unsustainable” development proposals on greenfield sites in Ashington, Adversane, Buck Barn, Kirdford and Mayfield, Andrew observed it was a “fallacy that the only answer is to pile up even more supply” despite the number of homes that already empty across the whole of the UK.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Andrew said:
“Like most, I welcome the extension of the lower rate of stamp duty in this Bill. On a future occasion, I encourage the Government to bring forward an exemption to stamp duty for downsizers. With an ageing population, too many homeowners rattle around in accommodation that would be more suitable for growing families. Stamp duty is a real brake on downsizing. The Treasury will understandably be cautious about leakage, but it should be perfectly possible to define a downsizing transaction based upon the ratio of values and the limited time interval between the two housing transactions.
Right now my constituents are blighted by development proposals on unsustainable greenfield sites in Ashington, Adversane, Buck Barn, Kirdford and Mayfield, all based on the fallacy that, despite the UK already having more than 600,000 empty homes and the highest rate of housebuilding since 2007, the only answer is to pile up even more supply.”