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Tories vow to hike property taxes on foreign buyers

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Foreign individuals and companies buying property in the UK will be forced to pay higher stamp duty levels under conservative proposals.

Conservatives say the surcharge of non-UK residents will help more Britons climb the housing ladder and fund efforts to combat difficult sleep.

Estimates suggest that the measure, which would apply if Conservatives won the majority in next month's election, would rise to £ 120 million a year.

Elsewhere in the general election campaign:

  • Liberal Democrats are saying they will commit to building 300,000 new homes a year – including 100,000 social homes that would be available for rent
  • Labor's Jeremy Corbyn is asking people to sign up to vote before Tuesday, as the numbers suggest that more than 9 million eligible Britons still need to do so.
  • The SNP is demanding the return of the rail network in order to give the government full control over the railways in Scotland.

Today, foreign individuals and businesses can buy homes as easily as UK residents, but under conservative plans they would face a surcharge of 3% on stamp duty already paid.

It is believed that the policy would affect approximately 70,000 property purchases per year.

Chief Treasury Secretary Rishi Sunak said: "Evidence shows that by adding significant amounts of demand to the limited supply of real estate, non-resident purchases inflate house prices.

More on General Elections 2019

"Britain will always be open to the people who live, work and build a life in this great country. The steps we are taking will ensure that more people have the opportunity for a great place to live and build a family."

It is estimated that 4,667 people were sleeping hard throughout England in the fall of 2018, according to government statistics.

That was a 2% drop from fall 2017 – the first time the number of people sleeping hard has fallen year after year since comparable records started in 2010.

During this period, difficult sleep increased by almost 165%.

However, despite the improvement in overall numbers for England over the past year, regional numbers have shown a worsening situation in some areas of the country.

Conservatives have argued that UK properties are usually bought by wealthy foreign individuals or companies and held as investments or rented at inflated prices.

They cited a recent study that showed that 13% of new homes in London were bought by non-residents between 2014 and 2016.

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