Housing associations

The Governments “Pay to Stay” scheme announced in January requiring tenants to pay extra rent if they start to earn over a certain level will be implemented on a voluntary basis by housing associations.

It was announced that 1% annual reduction in social rents announced at the Summer Budget will not apply to supported housing in 2016-17.

Building on brownfield

The Chancellor has announced £1.2 billion of funding to turn brownfield sites currently owned by local councils into Starter Homes (houses for first-time buyers sold at 80% of market rate). Councils will be able to bid for funding, to meet the Government’s hope that 30,000 Starter Homes will be built.

The increased funding may encourage interest in the Government’s policy among local councils and housing associations. The policy was first announced September 2014 with no Starter Homes on public brownfield sites built to date.

Academisation, academisation, academisation

The Chancellor has announced that by 2022 no state schools will be owned or run by Local Authorities.

Academy chains will have considerable scope to expand given the large volume of maintained schools which are yet to convert to academy status.

The scale of the possibilities for Academy chains is revealed by the number of Primary Schools which will have to convert to Academy status over the next six years - at the last full count there were 16,766 primary schools in England, of which only 2,440 were academies.


Capital Gains Tax (CGT) currently stands at 28% but will be reduced to 20% with the basic rate of 18% reduced to 10% (except for residential property and carried interest) from 6 April 2016. There will be an 8 percentage point surcharge on carried interest and for gains on residential property. This will leave them essentially at the original rate.

Business rates

The Chancellor has announced a reform to business rates permanently raising the threshold for small business rates relief from £6,000 to a maximum of £15,000. This will mean that over 400,000 properties will receive 100% business rates relief. It will also increase the threshold for the higher rate from £18,000 to £51,000, taking 250,000 smaller properties out of the higher rate.

Approximately 600,000 small businesses will have no rates payable and 250,000 firms will pay less in business rates.

It is proposed to radically simplify the administration of business rates, and from 2020 future business rates increases are to be based on the Consumer Price Index rather than the Retail Price Index.


The Chancellor has announced new Stamp Duty Land Tax rules to come in to force from 17 March 2016.

The new Commercial Stamp Duty will be a 0% rate on purchases up to £150,000, 2% on the next £100,000 and 5% top rate above £250,000. There will be a new 2% rate for high-value leases with net present value above £5m.

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Posted on 17/03/2016 in Legal Updates

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