Liz Truss reportedly set to include stamp duty cut in ‘emergency budget’ – UK politics live
Good morning. Jacob Rees-Mogg, the business secretary, will this morning give details of the energy support package that will be available for businesses over the next six months. I will cover political reaction here, but my colleague Graeme Wearden will be leading on coverage of this on his business live blog.
In normal circumstances a government announcement of this kind, involving spending worth tens of billions, would be made to the House of Commons, where MPs would be able to quizz Rees-Mogg on the detail. The Commons is open today, but only for MPs to swear oaths to the new King. It is not having a proper sitting until tomorrow, and it is not clear why a full statement could not have been scheduled for today. This is the second time an energy support measure has been announced in a manner to minimise parliamentary scrutiny; when Liz Truss announced her energy price guarantee, she did it in the form of a speech at the opening of a debate, instead of a Commons statement, which would have allowed up to 100 or so MPs to ask a question about it.
But we are getting a Commons statement on Friday, when Kwasi Kwarteng, the chancellor, will unveil his “emergency budget” and this morning Steven Swinford and Henry Zeffman in the Times say that it will include a surprise cut to stamp duty, as well as the tax cuts already promised (the reversal of the national insurance increase, cancellation of planning corporation tax increases, and the temporary suspension of green levies on fuel bills). In their story – which is not being denied by No 10 – Swinford and Zeffman report:
Truss believes that cutting stamp duty will encourage economic growth by allowing more people to move and enabling first-time buyers to get on the property ladder … Under the present system no stamp duty is paid on the first £125,000 of any property purchase. Between £125,001 and £250,000 stamp duty is levied at 2 per cent, £250,001 and £925,000 5 per cent, £925,001 and £1.5 million 10 per cent and anything above £1.5 million 12 per cent. For first-time buyers the threshold at which stamp duty is paid is £300,000. During the pandemic the stamp duty threshold was increased temporarily to £500,000 to help to stimulate the property market. Truss has previously said that cutting stamp duty is “critical” to economic growth. As chief secretary to the Treasury she said that the highest rate of stamp duty, which was introduced by George Osborne, was “clogging up” the housing market and leading to fewer transactions.
Much later today Truss will give a speech to the United Nations general assembly. As Pippa Crerar reports in her preview, Truss will link her own low-tax economic philosophy to the cause of global freedom.
Here is the agenda for the day.
9am: Jacob Rees-Mogg, the business secretary, is due to announce details of the plan to cap energy prices for businesses.
From 10am: In the Commons MPs swear oaths of allegiance to the new King.
Lunchtime (UK time): Liz Truss hosts a business roundtable meeting on economic growth in New York, where she is attending the United Nations general assembly.
Early evening (UK time): Truss holds various bilateral meetings in New York, including with Joe Biden, the US president, and Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president. She is also delivering a speech to the UN general assembly, but that will not happen until around 2am UK time.
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