The Scottish Government’s Budget has been described as a “missed opportunity.”
The update yesterday from Scottish Finance Secretary Shona Robison, outlined a £550m investment in the supply programme for rent, social rent and affordable home ownership.
But David Alexander, chief executive of DJ Alexander, said this won’t go far enough.
He said: “In many local council areas, the wait for social housing is measured in years and sometimes in decades. This is an issue requiring sustained major investment over a prolonged period and the current announcement is welcome but clearly not going to meet demand in the next five to ten years.”
Alexander also lamented the lack of hoped-for reforms to the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) which he said makes Scotland much more expensive to buy property at a very early stage.
He said: “First time buyers are more punitively hit than anywhere else in the UK with tax starting at £175,000 compared to £425,000 in England and Wales.
“While any property over £325,001 attracts a 10% charge which doesn’t occur south of the Border until properties cost more than £925,000.”
There was also an additional £358m announced to accelerate the installation of clean heating systems but Alexander suggested that given that this represents just over 1% of the anticipated £33bn costs of the implementation of these energy efficient products, “the homeowner is still being asked to stump up for the Scottish government’s green ambitions.”
Alexander added: “With higher personal taxes than anywhere else in the UK and higher house purchase costs it is hard to see how these policies make Scotland an attractive place to live and work. This budget was an opportunity to encourage more housebuilding, to address serious shortages in the number of social housing