What’s in it for me?

March 21, 2016 by Rob Kahl

What’s in it for me?

It was the 18th time that George Osborne stood up in the House of Commons to give us a budget and it seemed that once again not much happened.

The headline grabbing announcement was the tax on sugary drinks which in principle seems like a good idea but we didn’t get much detail. Fuel duty was frozen again, cigarettes and wine went up again, although beers and spirits will remain the same and if you are lucky enough to be able to put away £20,000 a year you will now be able to do it in an ISA.

But what about the housing market?

George Osborne seems to have it in for small investors looking to buy properties long term to rent out. Perhaps these type of people are disillusioned with the interest rates on savings in their banks or have lost trust in pension funds and companies but the Chancellor of the exchequer has made it pretty clear that he is not keen.

There was a glimmer of hope that the new hike in stamp duty for second homes or investment properties was going to be dropped but he actually announced it loud and proud. This will now cost people an additional 3% of the sales price when purchasing an investment property and will make people think seriously about whether they feel the additional costs are worth it.

You may think that you could make this up with the new saving announced for Capital Gains Tax but these tax cuts will specifically exclude gains acquired on buy to let properties, so no such luck I am afraid.

The raising of the base level of income tax and moving the 40% threshold will obviously assist a great deal of people but wont make a huge difference and other announcement like stamp duty on commercial properties and corporation tax changes wont make a lot of difference to the average Joe.

So if you are a smoking, property investor who likes a glass of wine or a coca-cola then you are getting a kick in the whatsits. Sorry.