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Election manifestos: how do they impact country property owners?

Here we've picked out promises and pledges from the three main parties that might have an impact on those who currently own, or are thinking of buying, a country house.

Voters who live in market towns and villages across the countryside are rarely addressed by any of the main parties in their plans should they win the General Election—with the exception of rural broadband access and rural bus networks, which all are looking to improve. Beyond that, throughout the manifestos of the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats the word “rural” appears just 20 times. Here we've picked out promises and pledges from the three main parties that might have an impact on those who currently own, or are thinking of buying, a country house.

 

Property taxes on country properties

Second homes will incur higher taxes under Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

Conservatives

     -

No promises to cut any Stamp Duty. Additional 3% surcharge on non-resident buyers.

 

Labour

     -

No plans to tax owners on their property values.

     -

Introduce second homes tax in the form of an annual levy equal to 200% of the current Council Tax bill. Second homes used for work, such as MPs’ constituency homes, are exempt.

     -

Councils given power to tax properties that are empty for over a year.

     -

Capital Gains Tax payable on sale of second homes at same level as Income Tax.

 

Liberal Democrats

     -

Up to 500 per cent higher Council Tax on second homes as well as an increase in Stamp Duty.

   


New housing

None of the major party manifestos identifies any specific rural approach to solving the needs of rural housing; homes for local people are a theme but no party has explained how that group of buyers will be identified.

Conservatives

     -

Build more homes for local people by allowing councils to use developer contributions to fund a discount of one third of the market value, prioritising key workers.

     -

One million new homes over the next five years of all tenures.

 

Labour

     -

Build discounted homes for first-time buyers, with values so that mortgage payments are no more than one third of the average local household income. This discount, which could be up to 50%, will be applied in perpetuity.

     -

Local people given first choice on new homes built in their areas.

     -

Establish a new English Sovereign Land Trust, which will have powers to buy land more cheaply for low-cost housing.

     -

300,000 new homes a year by 2024.

 

Liberal Democrats

     -

200,000 new homes a year (plus 100,000 built for social rent).

     -

All new homes built to zero-carbon standards by 2021 and the tougher Passivhaus Standard by 2025.

 


Utilities and broadband

Broadband and, in particular, rural broadband access, features across all the main party manifestos.

Conservatives

     -

Free full fibre and gigabit-capable broadband to every home and business across the UK by 2025 supported by £5 billion of new funding.

     -

Greater mobile phone coverage across the UK.

 

Labour

     -

Broadband infrastructure to be put into public ownership to provide free full-fibre broadband for all by 2030.

     -

Stop Post Office closures and bring Royal Mail back into public ownership.

 

Liberal Democrats

     -

Programme to install fast-speed broadband, particularly focussed on connecting rural areas.

     -

Greater mobile phone coverage.

     -

All new homes connected to ultra-fast broadband by 2022.

 


Green homes & climate change

This is another area that gets airtime from all the major parties, with a particular emphasis on insulating houses and zero-carbon rules for new homes.

Conservatives

     -

£9.2 billion investment in insulation for houses and public buildings.

     -

Invest £4 billion in flood defences.

 

Labour

     -

£250 billion for energy efficiency upgrades to almost all homes by the 2030s.

     -

New zero-carbon standard on all new homes.

 

Liberal Democrats

     -

New homes to meet zero-carbon standards by 2012.

     -

£5 billion fund for flood prevention and climate adaptions.

     -

Plant 60m trees a year.

     -

£15 billion over the next five years to retrofit 26 million homes to make them more energy efficient.

     


Transport

Bus networks, particularly in the countryside, will be supported by all the main parties.

Conservatives

     -

Launch a pothole-filling programme.

     -

Bring back and protect rural bus routes.

 

Labour

     -

Provide resources for councils to regulate or own their bus network and provide free bus travel for under 25 where councils own their bus routes.

     -

Reinstate 3,000 bus routes that have been cut (focussed in rural areas).

 

Liberal Democrats

     -

£4.5 billion over five years to restore bus routes and add new routes, with a focus on rural areas.

         


Rural health

Liberal Democrats

     -

Encourage healthcare professionals to work where there are shortages, including remote rural areas.

       


Rural proofing

Labour

     -

Introduce a ‘rural proofing’ process so that all laws, policies and programmes consider their impact on rural communities.

 


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