Press Release

Stamp duty cut will hardly benefit Londoners, but budget has some positives on housing

Responding to the Autumn budget, Richard Brown, Research Director at Centre for London said:

“Housing costs are pushing many working Londoners into poverty. Reducing stamp duty for first time buyers won’t get to the root of the problem, and will be less beneficial for Londoners who face higher house prices to start with. People who struggle to save for a deposit – and who can’t fall back on the bank of Mum and Dad – will remain at the bottom of the pile.  Once again, measures to boost demand fail to consider the London context.

“There are other positives on housing, including relaxing the cap on council borrowing for housebuilding, measures to capture land value, tougher tax penalties for empty properties, consulting on minimum densities for development around stations.

“Business rates devolution will help to concentrate the minds of the boroughs on growth, but this budget has not delivered the full scale devolution of land taxes that London needs to make for a fairer city and fund much needed infrastructure.

“The vote to leave the EU makes it more important than ever that we ensure Londoners have the skills they need to thrive. As Centre for London highlighted, a fifth of Londoners working in construction are from the EU. The Chancellor is right – we urgently need to train the construction workers of tomorrow. Without them, house building will grind to a halt.”