ARK responds to Scottish draft budget announcement

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay announced the Draft Scottish Budget yesterday, but are the draft measures enough to deliver the Scottish Governments 50,000 affordable homes target?

A £756m allocation to the wider £30bn investment for building affordable homes is strongly welcomed and will help the deliver the Scottish Government’s target of delivering 50,000 affordable homes by 2021.

A move to remove Land and Buildings Transaction Tax for first time buyers on properties under £175,000 will also assist those looking to get onto the housing market with Mr Mackay suggesting that “80% of first time buyers in Scotland will pay no LBTT at all, and all will see the tax they would have to pay reduced”.

With homelessness becoming an ever-growing issue, an investment of £10m to an “ending homelessness fund” coupled with £50m to be provided over the next five years is a really welcomed move, as a sector we all have a part to play in addressing homelessness.

The £4bn allocation of funding for infrastructure is key to the sector, we cannot build the homes and sustainable communities of the future without the road and rail infrastructure to support it.

Key housing announcements:

  • Land and buildings transaction tax (formerly stamp duty) will not apply for first-time buyers for properties under £175,000
  • £756m will be allocated as part of the wider £30bn investment for building affordable homes
  • £137m will be given to support energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation measures
  • An initial £10m has been allocated to an ending homelessness fund, with £50m to be provided over the next five years
  • The bedroom tax will continue to be mitigated

Overall we at ARK welcome the draft budget announcement with increased funding for new affordable homes, assisting first time buyers on the market and a focus on much needed infrastructure.