In that leftie online business magazine, Insider, today:
‘The Scottish Budget for 2019/2020 was introduced to the Scottish Parliament by Derek Mackay, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work on 12 December 2018. The Budget contains a proposal to increase Ads from 35 to 4% of the relevant consideration. ADS is an additional amount of Land and Buildings Transaction payable on the purchase of a second residence in Scotland, e.g. a second home or a buy-to-let property. This additional amount of LBTT was only introduced relatively recently, in 2016.’
A 1% increase might not seem that radical but it means that a second home bought for £200 000 would require a payment of £8 000 as opposed to £6 000 in 2018.
This news follows earlier example of Scotland’s tax system diverging from that of the UK, and in a progressive manner:
Revenue from SNP progressive tax regime to rise dramatically upsetting Murdo Fraser
Debunking the Tory idea that Scotland’s progressive taxes will trigger flight of the wealthy
More evidence of a difference as 73% of Scots back increase in taxes for higher public spending
Scotsman wrongly labels council tax rises as ‘SNP tax rises’ and fails to understand value for businesses of SNP reducing taxation of majority lower income groups
Radio Scotland GMS is the strangest thing this morning:
(Millar and Maxwell reporting)
Their reporting between 7am and 8am has been fairly SNP-positive. They poured scorn on Willie Rennie’s stance of not approving the Scottish budget until the SNP drop independence campaigning – asking if he really thinks that’s a reasonable thing to do, when independence is SNP s raison d’etre. Implying that his stance is unreasonable. Not badgering him, but fairly incredulous questioning. As this article indicates, if the SNP are proposing good progressive taxation, why aren’t the LibDems supporting, or not, on its own merits? They really are a bunch of weirdos.
Questioning Labour’s man in the Scottish Parliament – wow that man is an embarrassment, and the questions had to be repeatedly simplified for him (again no actual badgering) and he still couldn’t answer most of them. On brexit: what is Labour’s stance if they are ready for a GE – he couldn’t answer (except for the tired old trope of ‘the people voted to leave’, and he avoided totally mentioning that Scotland very decisively voted remain) – and the interviewer said ‘so, the SNP are the only party that gives an alternative to Brexit’. He had no answer to that, but did not, bizarrely, criticise the SNP.
Then there was the question about Nicola Sturgeon being pressured to self-refer to an investigation on the Alex Salmond harassment case, what would labour do if she didn’t, and how long were they giving her? He couldn’t answer either except to say ‘it will be days rather than weeks’, actually, he did say, after simplified questioning, that labour would try and get support of (Scot) Parliament to take action. The reporters did say after this interview that it should be noted that Alex Slamond denies any allegations etc. In general, it didn’t have the feel of trolling the SNP.
A temporary hiatus? Are news outlets frightened of litigation? Or in fact, do I just perceive this as ‘fair’ because their usual raving is so extreme and anti-SNP and all things Scottish, that a milder not-so-critical reporting (but certainly not supportive) seems fair in comparison. Yes, I think it’s just my perception. But therein lies the biggest problem – we are so used to hearing extreme bias, that anything even mildly neutral sounds fair. That needs consideration.
Usual misinforming reporting: let’s tackle their headlining news item ‘research shows that people who miss doctors appointments tend to die prematurely’. Strictly sort of correct, but that headline is wholly misleading – what they actually mean is ‘people with mental health problems that miss doctors appointments tend to die prematurely, usually through suicide’. In fact, regardless of the rest of the reporting that explains this, the headline is strictly wrong – they are making the wrong association between death and missing appointments. Cause and effect. Repeatedly missing appointments is likely to indicate a mental health problem that’s not being dealt with, and keeping missing appointments may lead to not receiving help & further degeneration of that mental health.
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Anyone who works celebrating any tax increase when the government are just going to waste most of the money raised hasn’t thought through the whole issue too deeply.
Also there are rich second home owners who mess up communities buy buying holiday homes in them, but there are also a lot of quite poor people who came into second properties by inheritance and make their meager living out of them.
From the lowest to the highest level of government in the UK a pattern of waste, corruption and nepotism is near universal. The whole system is set up to favour the rich over the poor and the corporations over the individual.
If the SNP really wanted to help Scottish people they would cut the red tape that makes it nearly impossible for micro-businesses to flourish, they would encourage cooperative enterprises that everyone can benefit from and they would start a system that would (without government theft) get the land back into the ownership of the masses. Like all Statists the current leaders of the SNP are looking to solve all the problems of Scotland through the centralized state, when the problems were nearly all caused by the centralized state in the first place.
There are mixed messages where current SNP policy is concerned re second homes.
1 LBTT surcharge was not an original SNP policy. Chancellor Osborne announced an SDLT surcharge out of the blue. The Scottish government felt they had to follow suit. Presumably to play to the left wing.
2. The Scottish government supports the hutting movement based on its emulation of the Norwegian model where there are around 500,000 “huts” which are really second homes and a huge industry supporting it has been established in Norway. Ok the historical context is different but hutting is encouraged here for a whole host of reasons.
3 mostsecond homes in Scotland suitable for the first time family buyer market are not very suitable as permanent homes. They are often damp, old and very much a make-do sort of holiday property. Many were deserted by local folk for modern house either provided the councils or privately built.
4. Many second homes are once bought by council house tenants under right to buy who bequeathed them to their children who have retained them.
5. The problem of insufficient suitable rural housing is the lack of land. Many land owners are reluctant to sell or make land available because the tax system militates against them. If the Scottish government introduced an Annual Round Rent that would encourage land sales /availability. As land becomes a liability they will want to release themselves from that liability.
6 if the Scottish government granted deemed planning permission for 4 homesteads on each farm that would reduce the price of land if a time limit is placed on the planning permission.
7 we need to encourage urban Scotland to re-engage with rural Scotland . One way to do so is to encourage folk to buy a second home for holidays instead of encouraging foreign holidays instead.
Sorry for late approval.
‘if the Scottish government granted deemed planning permission for 4 homesteads on each farm that would reduce the price of land if a time limit is placed on the planning permission.’
That is a really good idea. : )
Unusually (because I seldom listen to Radio Scotland anymore), I heard part of Richard Leonards contribution. Embarrassing to say the least. The man has no leadership qualities whatsoever, and seems to regard “Scottish Labour” as just a vehicle to deliver Scotland to Corbyn. He has even fewer policies than Davidson and less convincing waffle.
On an irrelevant tone, an historic cache has been unearthed at Stirling University, dating back to 1969. Among the finds was a Glasgow Herald (as was). Historians and archivists gathered round to see what an actual “Scottish newspaper” looked like. Seems it was nothing like the British nationalist agitprop yellow pages of nowadays.
Will Tom Gordon be next to be recruited to the Scorrish (sic) Office to prop up Fluffy and Lordly friends? Or do the Tories prefer him where he is?
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Notwithstanding PatrickNelson750’s comment regarding “there are also a lot of quite poor people who came into second properties by inheritance and make their meager (sic) living out of them”, I think this is a move to be welcomed and encouraged, since the majority of ‘second’ homes are owned by people who are pretty well off.
I hope that the SG is more innovative in the whole area of land and property taxation, because, by their nature that cannot be moved ‘offshore’. At present many of these pieces of land are unproductive and many of the properties lie empty creating a shortage which forces up house prices and often squeezes young and local people out of the market.
I agree with PatrickNelson750 with regard to microbusinesses, local cooperatives and a much wider ownership of land. Initially I was on my guard when I read the term ‘cut red tape’, which is usually rich people speak for cut the kinds of regulation which protects the population and let us wreak our piratical worst’. However, with regard to small businesses, much of the regulation and legislation has been initiated by the parliamentary placemen and women who pass laws that favour big business over small. So, if that is the red tape PatrickNelson750 wants to cut, I agree.
PS. I heard Richard Leonard’s interview. It was embarrassingly bad. He is just very poor at speaking and presenting a case in a coherent way. Willie Rennie, for example, often talks pish, but he says it with a degree of conviction, clarity and articulately.
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Hi Patrick Nelson 750. I reckon you’ll find that the SNP manifesto in these areas of policy is not a million miles distant from your own (and mine too if I’ve followed your gist correctly). I haven’t seen it get much coverage but the Scotsman did cover (pretty well) a new piece of Scottish legislation in an associated area of policy which is coming to a local authority near you anytime now. (Yet another reason to make sure we get out and elect SNP and other radical candidates onto our Councils). Link and snippets below:
Empty homes, abandoned shops, derelict hotels and gap sites could be among those targeted by the introduction of compulsory sale orders (CSOs) after planning minister Kevin Stewart said they would be introduced in the course of this Parliament.
The move to bring in CSOs by 2021 would allow councils to force owners to sell such sites at auction instead of allowing them to lie empty where they are seen to be causing “harm” to local communities by attracting problems such as anti-social behaviour.
Councils already have powers to buy land through CPOs, but this would involve the authority making the purchase itself, which it may not always have the funds to do. There is also a community “right to buy” for sustainable development, but it may not be appropriate for the smaller scale development envisioned for CSOs. Shona Glenn, head of policy and research at the Scottish Land Commission, said: “The logic behind the proposal is to address quite a specific problem. Very often what you get with these vacant sites or empty buildings is that they’re in parts of the country where there isn’t an awful lot of turnover of properties, so there isn’t a lot of transactions going on. Very often they’re quite deprived communities.
“That creates a problem because it makes it very difficult to assess what the value of that property might be. And what that means is that it’s quite easy for owners of these sites to have quite unrealistic expectations of what the value might be.” There are more than 3,000 sites of land lying derelict across Scotland and more than 30,000 empty homes.
A report released in August by the Scottish Land Commission said around 11,600 hectares of vacant and derelict land in Scotland with the figures not having changed substantially since the late 1990s, making it an “entrenched problem”.
Glenn said: “We’re not saying it could be used for any vacant land or any derelict property. We’ve specifically tried to focus in on relatively small sites and sites that are causing blight to communities. This issue of harm is really important. It’s not just any old property or site, it’s ones that actively cause harm. And I think when you phrase it like that it becomes more difficult for people to object to that because it is something that’s causing harm.”
Edinburgh City Council housing and economy convener Kate Campbell said: “Many people are struggling to find a home in the city that meets their needs. This means we need to make sure that all land and housing in the city is being well used. The work the Scottish Government is doing to give us additional powers to bring vacant land and properties back into use is very welcome.”
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