Tories pledge to boost housebuilding to 25,000 a year and give councils powers over LBTT

The leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Douglas Ross, has outlined plans to increase the home building target to 25,000 properties per year and said councils should be able to vary Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) thresholds to take into account higher local prices.

Tories pledge to boost housebuilding to 25,000 a year and give councils powers over LBTT

Douglas Ross

The Scottish Conservative local government manifesto, to be published on Thursday, will include a pledge that the party would support raising the national threshold for LBTT from £145,000 to £250,000 to take account of rising house prices.

Mr Ross also outlined plans to increase homebuilding targets to 25,000 new properties per year.

As part of that proposed higher target, the Scottish Conservatives are also pushing for the doubling of the Rural Housing Fund, to help incentivise construction in remote and rural communities.

Ahead of a visit to a construction site in Midlothian today, Douglas Ross said: “Every working person across Scotland should have the opportunity to buy their own home.

“For too many people, property ownership has become an unattainable dream. Skyrocketing house prices are making it unaffordable, even for families with good incomes.

“We have to do more to promote housebuilding because the best way to address the increases in house prices is to build more homes. Across Scotland, there is a real need for more affordable and high-quality homes.

“We are setting out proposals to increase housebuilding across Scotland that would make homes more affordable and provide a huge boost to local economies.

“Scottish Conservative councillors will support increasing the rate of housebuilding and encourage home ownership for more working people across Scotland. 

Responding to the announcement, Nicola Barclay, chief executive of sector body Homes for Scotland, said: “It is encouraging to see the main opposition parties aligning behind our call to build more homes of all tenures to meet the needs and aspirations of all those living in Scotland.

“With a shortfall of close to 100,000 homes built since the last recession, building more is the only way to solve Scotland’s housing crisis and benefit from the multiple social and economic benefits that this would bring.

“Delivering more homes on the ground requires real political commitment at a local level and we hope this will be evident following the council elections.”

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