The Government announced a Five Point Plan for housing to re-focus support for housing towards low cost home ownership for first time buyers in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015. The Plan includes the introduction of higher rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on purchases of additional residential properties.

The higher rates will be 3% above the current SDLT rates and will take effect from 1 April 2016. The Government will use some of the additional tax collected to provide £60 million for communities in England where the impact of second homes is particularly acute. It is considering an exemption from the higher rates for those making significant investments in residential property, given the role of this investment in supporting its housing agenda.

The Government has invited a wide range of respondents including individuals, companies, legal professionals and representative and professional bodies to share their views on the higher rates of SDLT. The consultation entitled 'Higher rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on purchases of additional residential properties' was published on 28 December 2015. It sets out the details of the higher rates of SDLT and seeks views in key areas of its design. The closing date for responses is 1 February 2016.

All responses will be considered by the Government before confirming the final policy design at the Budget on 16 March 2016.