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Saturday, August 08, 2015

Is the Chancellor trying to kill B2L?

Landlords have now had time to consider the Chancellors latest actions of removing the tax breaks for higher tax paying landlords with a mortgage by removing their ability to offset interest payments against their rental profits.

Money Week's Dominic Frisby has asked the question that is this the thin edge of the wedge and an attempt of the Chancellor to kill of buy-to-let.  Certainly, the whole rise of the rental sector flies against the Tories ethos of home ownership.  However, ever the pragmatists the Tories also realise that the buy-to-let sector ticks several boxes.  Firstly, it provides housing for the increasing demand from generation rent who prefer or cannot afford to buy.  Secondly, it's sits with the Tories support and encouragement for entrepreneurship and self sufficiency.  I know anecdotally that many of my compatriots who are looking at retirement in the next 10 years and many sensibly see buy-to-let as an important part of their overall retirement strategy.

Could George Osborne be trying to kill of buy-to-let?  Personally,  I don't think so but clearly this move calls into question the Tories apparent policy inertia in respect to the private rental sector.  It could be that this is an isolated move against high earners and a sop to Generation Rent who were calling for stronger action against landlords. However, it does make you wonder.

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