At 4.30pm today the 138,600 people who have so far signed the parliamentary e-petition calling for a six-month extension to the Stamp Duty holiday deadline will hear from the horse’s mouth whether the Government is considering a change of heart.
The petition has continued to pick up 1,000 signatures a day despite it passing the 100,000 needed to be eligible for a parliamentary debate. This was supposed to be held in Westminster Hall but after the space was closed due to Covid, the Petitions Committee stepped in last week to announced its own online debate instead.
Agents will be able to tune in online to see if Jesse Norman, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, will give any ground on the problems being caused by the ‘cliff face’ facing estate agents, conveyancers, buyers, sellers, surveyors and lenders.
Representatives of all these groups have been making increasingly strident calls for the Government to listen and at least modify the stamp duty deadline to allow those already moving home to be guaranteed the relief.
So far HM Treasury has rejected any changes, saying the SDLT relief packaged was intended to stimulate the market and keep the economy ticking over during Covid.
Its response to the e-petition makes no mention of the huge delays the sales market is facing as conveyancers and lenders struggle to process the huge additional volume of transaction now working their way through to completion.