Finance and Taxation Reform

Tory jitters as RLA tax campaign hots up

The RLA’s relentless campaigning to challenge proposed restrictions to mortgage interest relief is starting to make an impact in Westminster, with a surge of support from Tory backbenchers.

A number of Conservative MPs are now openly challenging the Government on the changes, which will see mortgage interest tax relief restricted to a basic rate, even for higher rate-paying landlords.

The RLA met Treasury Minister Lord O’Neill on the 3rd May. Directors have also met with a number of influential Conservative backbenchers including Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 committee and former Secretary of State for Wales David Jones MP.

Since then a political head of steam has been building, with MPs becoming increasingly vocal about their concerns.

David Jones MP produced an article for Conservative Home expressing his concerns about the changes following a following a meeting with the RLA, with Graham Brady quoted in the Daily Telegraph expressing ‘serious concerns’ about the plans.

The Right Honourable  Mark Field MP wrote an article for City AM in which he warned that the changes would hit domestic buyers hard and could result in rent hikes, with landlords passing costs on to tenants.

And Conservative peer Lord Flight has publicly backed the RLA campaign, writing an article for the Daily Telegraph in which he claimed attacking buy-to-let would worsen the UK’s housing crisis.

Landlords Steve Bolton and Chris Cooper are currently seeking consent to initiate a judicial review on George Osborne’s MIR proposals. RLA policy director David Smith is addressing the Tenants’ Tax Summit campaign rally for supporters on Thursday, June 9th. However, after seeking its own legal advice the RLA was warned there was little chance of success if it pursued an extremely costly judicial review.

The association is now asking members to keep up the pressure on the Government, especially on Conservative MPs.

More than 400 have already written to their MP about MIR and the RLA is urging those who haven’t to do so now. It is also asking members to arrange face-to face meetings with MPs to spell out the potentially devastating impact these cuts will have on landlords and tenants alike. A guide on how to arrange a meeting with an MP is available here.

It also wants to hear more about what its members are doing to oppose the changes and exactly how they will be affected.

The RLA is continuing to put pressure on the Government to rethink what it describes as an unfair tax-grab – with a meeting already scheduled with the Prime Minister’s new housing adviser in July.

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

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