Documents to download

The Stamp Duty Land Tax (Reduction) Bill 2022-23 (Bill 171 2022-23) was introduced in the House of Commons on 24 October 2022. It received its second reading on the same day. The Bill would increase a number of thresholds at which Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on residential property would begin to be paid, therefore reducing the amount of SDLT paid for many house buyers.

The Bill was introduced after the House agreed to a ways and means resolution following debate. During this, the House divided on an amendment tabled by Tim Farron (Liberal Democrats). The amendment would have disapplied the provisions within the resolution to the purchase of additional dwellings. The amendment was negatived on division (165 ayes to 293 noes). 

The Bill was agreed to at second reading on division (288 ayes to 152 noes).

The Committee of the Whole House and remaining stages of the Bill in the House of Commons are scheduled to take place on 10 January 2023.

The Bill and its explanatory notes can be found on the Bill page on The Bill page also has a list of tabled amendments (PDF).

Following the Autumn Statement, HM Revenue and Customs published a Tax Information and Impact Note on the SDLT cut with further detail to the proposal.

What is Stamp Duty Land Tax?

Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) is charged on the purchase of property or land. It applies in England and Northern Ireland only. There are separate property transaction taxes in Scotland (the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax) and Wales (the Land Transaction Tax). SDLT is charged on a ‘slice’ basis: SDLT rates are graduated so that more expensive properties face progressively higher SDLT rates. The amount of SDLT due depends on a number of factors, including the type of property sold, the price of the property, and who the purchaser is. For instance, first-time buyers will have a relief on the first home they purchase, and purchases of additional dwellings may incur a 3% surcharge on top of regular SDLT rates (this is called the higher rate on additional dwellings, or HRAD).

The OBR has said in its March 2022 Economic and Fiscal Outlook SDLT raised £14.3 billion in 2021-22. Of this, £10.1 billion was raised from residential property, and £4.2 billion from non-residential property.

What changes have been announced recently?

On 23 September 2022, then Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announced permanent reforms to SDLT among a number of taxation announcements as part of the Truss Government’s “Growth Plan”:

  • An increase in the threshold up to which SDLT is not paid – the ‘nil rate band’, or NRB – from £125,000 to £250,000.
  • An increase in the NRB for first-time buyers relief, from £300,000 to £425,000
  • An increase in the maximum amount first-time buyers can buy a house for and still be eligible for relief, from £500,000 to £625,000.

These changes were enacted with immediate effect after the House approved a Provisional Collection of Taxes Motion under the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act 1968.

On 14 October 2022, Jeremy Hunt succeeded Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor. He told the House on 17 October that almost all measures announced in the Growth Plan would be reversed, with the exception of those already undergoing Parliamentary scrutiny, Therefore, the changes to SDLT were not reversed. However, during the Autumn Statement on 17 November, the Chancellor announced the introduction of a sunset clause to the SDLT reduction introduced by his predecessor, ending the relief in March 2025.

The Bill

The Bill is comprised of two clauses, relating to the change of thresholds to reduce the overall SDLT charge, and to the short name of the Bill.

The Committee of the Whole House and remaining stages of the Bill will take place on 10 January 2023. At this stage, the House will consider 14 amendments introduced by the Government to give effect to the Chancellor’s announcement during the Autumn Statement 2022. The amendments would make the provisions in the Bill expire on 31 March 2025 and would change the title of the Bill to Stamp Duty Land Tax (Temporary Relief) Bill 2022-23.

Second reading debate

During the second reading of the Bill on 24 October, shadow Financial Secretary James Murray commented that in the current economic climate (particularly looking at high mortgage costs), it was not the right moment to cut stamp duty. Both Tim Farron (Liberal Democrats) and John McDonnell (Labour) echoed this, adding that the measure was likely to be more beneficial for second homeowners and landlords.

In response to the debate, then Economic Secretary Richard Fuller said the Stamp Duty cuts would support labour mobility and boost the property industry.


Initial announcement

In its response to the ‘mini-Budget’, the Institute for Fiscal Studies welcomed the reduction to SDLT, although it pointed out that the increase to the First Time Buyers’ Relief would create a higher cliff-edge for properties falling just beyond the £625,000 threshold. The Resolution Foundation also welcomed the measure in its response to the statement, however it pointed out that its impact would be uneven, with a majority of the benefit of it being located in London and the South of England.

The Financial Times quoted experts in the property sector predicting that the measure would not hugely support buyers, or the housing market, saying the impact of the stamp duty cut could potentially be overshadowed by higher borrowing and mortgage costs.

Making the SDLT changes temporary

The proposed end of the SDLT holiday on 31 March 2025 was not debated in the House of Commons during the Autumn Statement on 17 November. Following the Autumn Statement, the response to the SDLT cut ending in March 2025 was not heavily discussed among industry experts. Whilst some said that the SDLT cut would hopefully result in a stronger start to 2023, and others praised the overall package delivered in the Autumn Statement, others criticised the proposed end of the cut in 2025, saying it would put first-time buyers in a significantly worse-off position.  

Further reading

The Library briefing on Stamp Duty Land Tax on residential property (August 2021) has detailed information, reactions, and commentary on the main reforms to SDLT in recent times, as well as a thorough historical background to the tax.

Documents to download

Related posts