The stamp duty land tax relief unveiled today by the chancellor has been welcomed by the Law Society of England and Wales.
“We welcome the support and stimulus for the residential conveyancing market in England and understand the Welsh government will make its own decision on their equivalent transaction tax next week,” said Law Society of England and Wales president Simon Davis.
“Transaction volumes were significantly down during lockdown and June saw negative annual house price growth for the first time since 2012."
“This is a time of upheaval in the lives of many who need to move home for various economic, social and personal reasons. A temporary reduction in residential property transaction costs to support such people and to bring forward demand makes sense. It will also be welcome news for solicitors whose volume of work has fallen.
“It is particularly welcome that this stamp duty land tax holiday is to take effect immediately and will last through the autumn and winter until the spring.
“The home moving market will be stimulated but government must remain vigilant to ensure the right balance of stability, fairness and confidence in the market is in place once the stamp duty holiday ends.”
Plans for a ‘kick start’ scheme for young people were also welcomed by the Law Society.
Simon Davis said: “We will be encouraging law firms as well as in-house teams to make use of this programme to train 16 to 24-year-olds by boosting the number of apprenticeships in the law.
“While the additional support for apprenticeships unveiled by the chancellor will benefit the legal services sector we feel he could go further.”
Legal services could create additional jobs if they were able to spend apprenticeship levy money on:
- lawtech seats and training in lawtech skills
- training in secondary specialisations which will enable people to re-train in other practice areas
- training contracts to maintain the jobs pipeline for students about to complete the LPC
- supporting other organisations (In England, including in the third sector) by funding joint roles. This would enable firms to deliver pro-bono work in partnership with legal charities, helping to meet the likely rise in demand for such services and provide more efficient access to legal advice
On the retention job bonus, Simon Davis added: “This is a positive measure for law firms, including any smaller firms which might see their practice areas slowing down. “
Notes for editors
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Press office contact: Nick Mayo | 020 8049 4100