SNP policy taxing millionaire house buyers more than in England. I wonder if socialist Anas Sarwar is one of them?


Fred Goodwin’s old house © Getty Images

If you buy a house priced at £1 million in Scotland, the Land and Building Transaction Tax (LBTT) will be £78 350 for a main property or £108 350 for an additional property. In England, it would only be £43 750 or £73 750. So, that’s a progressive redistributive tax of the kind you expect from a left-of-centre party? I thought Labour said the SNP weren’t really left-of-centre?

According to Property Wire magazine, LBTT isn’t hurting the rest of the market but only the upper end of the market with sales down from 79 in the first half of 2016 to 56 in the first half of 2017. So, once more, a good progressive policy from the SNP?

I can get a bit moist around the eyes hearing sad tales of animal suffering but for some reason this story of hurting millionaires isn’t affecting me much.


7 thoughts on “SNP policy taxing millionaire house buyers more than in England. I wonder if socialist Anas Sarwar is one of them?

  1. Clydebuilt September 28, 2017 / 8:26 am

    “Labour said the SNP weren’t really left of centre”. Aye I can see Baillie, Sarwar and Dugdale and alas Rowley saying this , and yesterday we had Tom Watson telling Scots the SNP Had ruined the NHS, at Liebour’s Brighton Conference Watson described Liebour as “The Party of Love”
    he the bloke who tried to get Corbyn to stand down by being very unpleasant.

    Also for months, Trojan Hoss McKenna’s been telling us that the SNP are not radical enough, amongst other hoss droppings.


  2. gavin September 28, 2017 / 1:46 pm

    Big Bahookie raised this at FMQ’s.
    Got ratty and had her stats in a twist, defending the rights of millionaires to be —-well, millionaires. Why should they have to pay taxes as if they were council plebs?
    And, it seems a drop in the housing market daan saff in just fine to oor Ruthie, but a handful of castles NOT changing hands in Scotia is simply dreadful—these demm’d Nats, you know?


  3. Ludo Thierry September 28, 2017 / 6:14 pm

    Hi John et al – Gavin is spot on, Col. Davidson went on this at FMQs (only heard a little bit on the car radio between visits).

    My impression was that Nicola was fairly ‘duffing up’ the Col. (who seemed to have poor grasp of the figures). Wish I could have heard the rest (I was very pleased with Nicola showing even the merest glimpse of the claws – The Col. will have sleepless nights about the battles to come!).

    The figures are quite complicated. I hope it’s OK John if I try and give a bit of info here that might assist people in following what Nicola and the Col. were arguing?

    Analysis of the figures by the Scottish Property Federation (SPF), show that Scottish Government’s residential property revenue returned to pre-LBTT levels last month – though commercial property tax revenue was low.

    Revenues rose in August by £5.2m on July, to £52.8m. This was a jump of £11.6m on the same month in 2016, making it one of the highest total monthly revenues generated from LBTT since the tax came into effect in April 2015.

    Residential revenue rose to £28.5m with the second homes tax, the additional dwelling supplement, bringing in £12.1m. If sustained, residential revenue for 2017 (not including the second homes tax) will surpass the £270m of residential revenue raised in the last year of SDLT for the first time since LBTT was introduced).

    This improved revenue is a result of a recovery to pre-LBTT levels of sales of residential properties above £325,000, and a further rise in revenue from the Additional Dwellings Supplement ‘second homes’ tax.

    LBTT revenue from commercial property sales rose for the first time in five months, standing at £12.5m. However, 2017/18 remains a poor year for commercial LBTT (£65.4m) as the total value of LBTT still lags behind 2016/17 (£67.7m) and 2015/16 (£71m).

    David Melhuish, director of the Scottish Property Federation, said: “The Scottish Government will be pleased to see that, over the summer, tax revenues from higher value residential sales have returned to pre-LBTT levels. When added to the windfall generated by the second homes tax (ADS), it is clear the government will expect to reach its 2017-18 LBTT revenue targets, even if weighed down by below-par commercial LBTT figures.

    My understanding of the above is that the Scottish property Foundation is telling us that there was a ‘change’ brought in to the taxation of property transactions and people and businesses arranged their affairs to complete all planned transactions before the ‘change’ took effect. (To ‘beat’ the tax change coming into effect in April 2015).

    On the residential property front there was a ‘lull’ following the ‘rush’. As time has passed the residential property market is returning to ‘normal’ conditions and the 2017 ‘projections’ suggest the revenues raised will overtake the final year of the previous Stamp Duty system. The figures over recent months indicate that even the ‘bigger hoose’ market is returning to its typical pattern.

    The introduction of the Additional Dwellings Supplement (the 2nd homes tax) has been a real success – and has introduced a new income stream into the Scottish Exchequer.

    There has been a drop-off in business property transactions. This is starting to pick up again but has not, yet, returned to the routine pattern under the previous tax regime. (However, a pick-up has been noted in the most recent monthly figs – so a market correction is probably starting to take effect about now). The additional income stream from the ‘new’ 2nd Homes tax is, however, ‘covering’ the current lag in business transactions as the market corrects itself.

    If someone from her backroom squad couldn’t talk the Col. through that lot before she stood on her hind legs and made an eedjit of herself in the chamber then, perhaps, she needs to organise a few Firing Squads (‘Pour encourager les autre’s as a certain French philosopher might have put it)!

    Cheers, Ludo


  4. Ludo Thierry September 28, 2017 / 7:44 pm

    Hi John – just thought I’d add this wee snippet since had been talking about the commercial sector LBTT revenue above.

    Noticed news yesterday of the sale of the Jenners’ Building in Edinburgh for estimated price above £50M. This sale should impact positively on the LBTT revenues shortly. Interestingly the suspected purchaser is a gent who has featured previously on this blog – namely the Danish born (and domiciled) billionaire Anders Povlsen (see below):

    If it is Povlsen who has bought the building, it will be the latest in a long line of investments in Scotland which have made the Dane the second-largest private landowner here after Buccleuch Estates. Known for the secrecy in which he conducts business transactions, Povlsen inherited his business from his parents when he was 28 and built it into a global concern. In the last decade or so he has bought Glenfeshie estate, the Eriboll estate in Sutherland and nine others giving him more than 200,000 acres of Scotland. He is known to be passionate about rewilding land and was once quoted as saying: ‘My family and I are very fond of Scotland. It is a lovely place with wonderful nature and nice people. We had the possibility to buy some land – and we are very happy about that.”

    An Edinburgh developer who asked not to be named said: “This is clearly a straightforward investment in Jenners as a brand and to gain the rental income which is said to be in excess of £2m per year.

    “It’s a listed building and so iconic that no-one would be allowed to change it very much, so while there might be plans in the very long term I would think it will be business as usual for Jenners.
    “It’s a good bit of business by Glen Properties and a solid investment by Anders Povlsen.”

    Interesting that this mega-wealthy Danish entrepreneur seems to be putting together a very substantial and varied Scottish property portfolio. I wonder what he knows? Can’t help but wonder if Mr. Povlsen might be a reader of this blog – and seeing that Scotland has a hell of a lot to offer once it completes the shift to Indy? Clearly Anders Povlsen recognises that Scotland is in the early days of a better nation.

    Cheers, Ludo


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