Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, today pointed to new research by the Halifax – that there are fewer first time buyers in the housing market across Hertfordshire and they are getting older – as evidence of the knock-on effects of Labour?s property stealth taxes.

    Peter Lilley said:

    “This is further proof that Labour?s stealth taxes are making it more difficult to get on the first rung of the housing ladder in Hertfordshire. Across the South East, the average deposit required for a first time buyer has risen by ?13,387 since Labour were elected. Yet on top of that Labour have piled a series of extra property-related taxes onto current and potential home owners in Hertfordshire. No wonder the average age of a first time buyer in South East is now 36.

    ? Average council tax has risen by three times the rate of inflation, adding ?212 per annum to the average Band D bill.

    ? The abolition of mortgage tax relief has cost most home owners an estimated ?326 per annum in extra tax.

    ? The freezing of stamp duty thresholds, even though property prices have soared, has meant an extra ?685 in stamp duty for the average first time buyer.

    “This ?1,200 tax grab is having a direct and worrying effect on the affordability of owning your own home. Liberal Democrats are no better. Their plans for a new development tax and VAT on new homes would make entry level housing even more unaffordable.

    “This aggravates the recruitment problem which currently afflicts the public services in Hertfordshire. Last week I met local head teachers who told me that newly qualified teachers are struggling to find affordable housing to rent, let alone to purchase. As a result many of them are forced to move further north to get jobs.

    “As a result the number of teacher vacancies in Hertfordshire has soared to 311 and 1 in 7 local nursing posts are now vacant. By imposing burdens on first-time buyers, Labour will drive away the young people we need in the public services ?especially in a high-cost area like Hertfordshire.?