Budget taxes scrapped

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Truro-based accountant Winter Rule has welcomed the Government’s decision to shelve tax changes on holiday lets, in order to speed the Finance Bill through.

The proposed new tax is one of three that the Government has had to sacrifice, following an agreement with the Conservatives to fast-track the Finance Act and pass Budget laws before Parliament is dissolved next week.

The other taxes to be placed into the Chancellor’s deep freeze are the controversial 10p hike on cider duty, and the 50p a month broadband levy on landlines. All three will be introduced, however, should Labour win the next election.

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John Endacott, tax partner at Truro-based accountants Winter Rule, who is a prominent commentator on the issue of furnished holiday lets, said: “We predicted that this issue would be dumped in order to get the Finance Bill through but it doesn’t mean the plans have been scrapped altogether and I think we’ll see some changes to the existing rules regardless of who forms the next Government.

“What we do know is that this political horse trading prolongs the uncertainty for the owners of furnished holiday lets, so we believe any changes should be put back for 12 months until April 6 next year so a new Parliament can properly consider the issue.”

Simon Tregonning, managing director of specialist self-catering lettings agency Classic Cottages, which markets around 700 properties across the south west, said: “The threat of the repeal of the furnished holiday let rules has already led to good property owners leaving the market and undermined the confidence of those planning to enter it, so it’s important that confidence is restored before permanent damage is done to our industry.

“This political bodge at least buys us more time to lobby against these damaging changes and we hope it becomes an election issue on the doorstep.”