The Labour party has outlined plans to impose further cuts to tax breaks for landlords and introduce rent controls to keep the cost of housing benefit down.
Speaking at the party’s annual conference in Brighton yesterday, new shadow chancellor John McDonnell said he wanted to end the tax break given to landlords that allows them to offset the cost of repairs against income tax.
McDonnell said that under the current system, this type of tax relief is worth £13 billion a year – and is made available “whether landlords undertake the repairs or not,” he claimed.
Elsewhere in his speech, the MP promised “cuts to the housing benefit bill when we build the homes we need and control exorbitant rents”. Labour also announced yesterday that it planned to build around 100,000 council and housing-association homes a year if it was elected in 2020.
McDonnell’s promised crackdown on buy-to-let tax breaks followed the decision made by George Osborne in his summer Budget to remove landlords’ right to offset the cost of mortgage interest against tax.
This policy will be introduced gradually from 2017, but the exact details of how it will be implemented are still to be revealed.
McDonnell also said he planned to scrap inheritance tax cuts introduced by the Conservative government, as well as introduce a “much higher” national minimum wage.