Minimal takeup of green stamp duty relief

| February 13, 2008 | 0 Comments

The stamp duty rebate introduced for so called eco-homes has so far benefited only a handful of homebuyers.

The policy was one of a number of green initiatives introduced in last year’s budget and the rebate has been available since last autumn.

According to Treasury minister, Kitty Ussher, the Government aims to “boost the supply of zero-carbon new build”, as part of its target for all new homes to be carbon-neutral from 2020.

The concession was, therefore, intended to invigorate the market for zero-carbon homes but following a written parliamentary question put by the Conservative Party it has emerged that just six houses have so far qualified.

Flats and maisonettes cannot qualify for the relief and the zero-carbon status is difficult to achieve because new homes must draw their electricity directly from local renewable sources.

In addition, environmental campaigners have pointed out that the rules drawn up by the Treasury for defining a zero-carbon home for the purposes of stamp duty tax exemption differ from those outlined in planning guidance issued by the Department of Communities and Local Government.

The Treasury has defended the scheme, explaining that initial take-up has been slow because the stamp duty exemption could only be claimed on homes once they were sold, and that numbers are expected to rise during 2008.

It is understood that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is now considering extending the relief to flats.

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