In the Autumn Statement presented in the House of Commons today (3rd December), George Osborne announced a number of changes which will specifically benefit our local hospice and cathedral.
George Osborne said: “We will extend the Cathedral Renovation Fund to cover repairs to our country’s churches…. Our hospice charities also make an enormous contribution to our communities. They have long been subject to unfair rules that force them to pay VAT, when the NHS does not. I am today refunding the VAT that these hospice charities incur.”
Michael Fabricant says: “Those short sentences will have a major impact on both St Giles’ Hospice who will be able to recover the VAT they have paid and Lichfield Cathedral which faces closure if it cannot immediately make repairs to its electric system.
“I and others have been lobbying the Chancellor of the Exchequer for some time for these and other changes and I am pleased that he has listened.
“And changes to the way house purchase stamp duty is applied will also benefit home-buyers and sellers in Staffordshire. Some 98% of home-buyers will now pay less tax nationally and this is translated to well over 99% in our area given the average cost of homes in Staffordshire.”
George Osborne said: “Stamp duty is charged at a single slab rate on the whole purchase price of a home. It means big jumps in tax when house values tip into a new band. The distortions can be particularly damaging at the lower end. If you buy a property worth £250,000, you pay £2,500 in tax. Buy a house worth just one pound more and you pay over £7,500, three times as much. And in recent years the burden of stamp duty has increased on low and middle income families trying to buy a new home, as prices have risen. This makes it even more difficult to get together the cash deposits buyers need. It’s time we fundamentally changed this badly-designed tax on aspiration. So I am today abolishing the residential slab system altogether. In future each rate will only apply to the part of the property price that falls within that band – like income tax. Here are the new marginal rates. You will pay no tax on the first £125,000 paid. Then 2% on the portion up to £250,000. Then 5% up to £925,000. Then 10% up to £1.5 million. Then 12% on everything over that.
“As a result stamp duty will be cut for the 98% of homebuyers who pay it. If you buy an averagely priced home of £275,000, you will pay £4,500 less in tax.”