Land and Buildings Transaction Tax, also known as LBTT.
For those that don't know what this is, it is a tax levied on purchases of property in Scotland. If ever there was an unfair, purile, abusive and penalising tax, this is most certainly it.
This tax should be abolished with due haste.
Slightly over a decade ago, the government could put forward some justification for its existence. Property values were constantly rising year after year, and people could make money by trading up to more expensive properties. So the government could perhaps justifiably claim their "cut" of the profits.
However, nowadays, property prices have been falling for approx. 7 years, Covid-19 has made matters worse recently, and it is particularly bad in Aberdeen, where the days of the oil boom are long gone. For governments to take so much money from the pockets of purchasers in a value declining market is wholly inappropriate and downright evil.
Where is the Scottish government's heart? Do they not realise that people NEED to move house at different stages of their lives? Perhaps because they change job. Or perhaps to be nearer friends and family, particularly elderly relatives. This SNP government has no heart at all. Whatever the reason for moving, we do not live in communist Russia. The public should have the freedom to move to other locations without being "soaked" by their government. It is a basic human right.
So let's look at what those LBTT tax bands are [and these are the latest, allegedly (ha, ha) "more generous" bands that apply from 15 July 2020 to 31 Mar 2021] :
Purchase price LBTT rate (%)
Up to £250,000 0%
Above £250,000 to £325,000 5%
Above £325,000 to £750,000 10%
Over £750,000 12%
Let's look at some examples:
Purchase price LBTT paid (£)
Any family in Aberdeen wishing to purchase a pleasant family home (i.e. 3 to 5 bedrooms) in Aberdeen will typically require at least £500,000. To ask any family to hand over £21,250 of hard-earned savings for the sake of having a roof over your family's head is evil, there is no other word for it. It matters not how well off you are. No one wishes to enter into a financial transaction where it costs tens of thousands of pounds to make that transaction. Moving home then becomes a financial downward spiral where every time you move home, you become poorer. Who wishes to do that? In Aberdeen, you start off living in Rubislaw Den, and five moves later you are in a flat in Torry!
It is little wonder that the upper end of the housing market has collapsed. But this SNP government cannot understand these basic financial facts. They are so caught up in their juvenile instincts to hammer anyone with a bit of wealth behind them that they cannot pass up the chance to punish them for being financially successful.
And of course Sturgeon has done herself proud by hammering any Scot with a bit of hard-earned money in his or her pocket. As chief despiser of anyone that works hard to work their way out of poverty, Sturgeon has ensured that this property tax is far greater than the equivalent tax (Stamp Duty Land Tax, SDLT ) that applies in England.
Let's look at what you would pay in SDLT tax in England for similar properties:
Purchase price LBTT paid (£)
So there you have it. Live in Scotland, and be hammered in LBT tax by a government without a heart that despises anyone who has worked hard to improve their lot in life. Moving home is a basic human right, a right that clearly this SNP government cares not a hoot about. Shame on you, Sturgeon. We cannot all live in homes (e.g. Bute House) provided free of charge by the State. Heartless, heartless, heartless. That's your middle name.