Buy-to-let tax break plan attacked

Thousands of first-time buyers will be priced out of the housing market if the Treasury presses ahead with plans to offer new tax breaks to buy-to-let investors, campaigners warn today. The Treasury published a consultation paper in February which included plans to boost the supply of private rented housing. One key proposal was for professional investors to pay stamp duty separately on each home, even when they buy a large portfolio of properties, reducing their total bill. PricedOut, which campaigns on behalf of first-time buyers who are not able to enter the property market, says the proposal is grossly unfair to first-time buyers and would make their struggle to buy a house even more difficult. William Griffith, spokesman for PricedOut, said: ‘The large tax breaks that buy to let currently enjoys mean that they can always outbid first-time buyers. It is astonishing that the government is seeking to further entrench this disparity in the housing market.’