Budget 2013: Reduce stamp duty to help property sector

 

As part of a series of blogs previewing Budget 2013, Moore and Smalley’s head of professional practices, Karen Hain, offers her thoughts on what the chancellor can do to help the economy.

 

The two main things I would really like to see in the Budget are more deregulation for smaller firms and strong action to address the continuing stagnation in the housing market.

 

Working closely with architects and surveyors, I’m acutely aware of the difficulties faced in getting housing developments and commercial schemes through the planning process.

 

The government continues to consult on measures to streamline planning, but we need urgent action to boost the construction sector and this includes greater encouragement for the banks to boost lending. It’s unlikely to happen, but a reduction in stamp duty would also help to stimulate the housing market, making it that bit easier financially for first time buyers to get on the housing ladder.

 

While there has been some progress by government on deregulation, there hasn’t been any fundamental change to really encourage growth. Something like reducing Employer National Insurance Contributions to help smaller firms with the cost of recruiting new staff would be beneficial.

 

Politically, we’re likely to see several measures that look to generate more tax revenue from the wealthy and multi-national organisations with UK operations. While it’s right that we should all be in this together, my fear is that we could end with a Budget that punishes the wealth and job creators in society and comes at the expense of business growth and investment.