Vince Cable calls for new tax on overseas investors

by Gary Whittaker

Vince Cable, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, has called for a new "fierce tax" on UK property investments made by overseas buyers, in a bid to stem the flow of money from other countries coming into the market. 

Cable's call comes as a reaction to the growing concerns about the cost of housing in the UK, and the fact that many young people cannot afford to get themselves a place on the ladder as a result of a lack of stock caused by the number of homes being snapped up by wealthy foreign buyers. 

It's a rare case of the Liberal Democrat leader, a strong supporter of the European Union, agreeing with foreign secretary Boris Johnson, a pro-Brexit campaigner, who backed a similar tax on foreign buyers just a few days before. 

Speaking of the proposed tax, Sir Vince said that the UK "must end the stranglehold of oligarchs and speculators in our housing market”. He added that making sure people in the UK have more access to homes will become a major part of his party's agenda behind its opposition to Brexit. 

“I want to see fierce tax penalties on the acquisition of property for investment purposes, by overseas residents,” he added, while speaking at a party conference in Bournemouth. He added that in the future, housing will be a bigger part of the Lib Dem agenda, saying that he foresees a “new generation of garden cities and garden villages” nationwide.

The issue the two politicians do disagree on comes in the form of the timing of such a tax. While Sir Vince wants to see the levy put in place as soon as possible to support the market, Johnson wants to wait until after Brexit has been finalised, so that people coming to invest from EU member states would also face the tax. 

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26-September-17General Lettings News