Cherie Blair is heading a legal campaign to try and force George Osborne to back down on his proposed tax changes. If the changes go ahead without any opposition, from 2017 landlords will no longer be able to deduct mortgage interest costs from their taxable profits. This will effectively halve the amount of tax relief higher rate tax payers like the Blairs can claim. In the Chancellor’s view, this will “level the playing field”, but to everyone else, the changes are likely to prove disastrous.
Omnia Strategy Takes the Case
Mrs Blair’s law firm, Omnia Strategy, has taken up the legal gauntlet and now represents 737 landlords and letting agents. The legal argument put forward by Mrs Blair’s legal firm is that George Osborne’s tax plan “discriminates against individual buy-to-let investors by denying them the same rights as other business owners.” Apparently she believes that the firm has a reasonable chance of winning the case.
Not surprisingly, Mrs Blair isn’t doing this out of the kindness of her heart – rather, as a landlord herself, her campaign is motivated by a healthy dose of self-interest. The Blair family own a not insignificant buy-to-let property empire and the planned changes to the landlord tax system will lead to them having a far higher tax bill. There is also the issue of political ‘point scoring’ if the Blair legal campaign is successful.
NLA Predicts Huge Sell Off
Confidence in buy to let has fallen off a cliff in the wake of the Chancellor’s announcement and the NLA estimates half a million homes could be dumped onto the market in the next year.
Are you planning on selling up? If so, let us know in the comments.