Kate Forbes on why tech is 'the most exciting portfolio in government'

Resisting pressure from the Scottish Tories to follow the UK decision to scrap taxes for more affluent house-buyers, for properties up to half a million pounds, Kate Forbes, the Finance secretary, has limited the relief to properties under £250 000.

According to Insider:

House buyers in Scotland will not pay tax on properties sold for for less than £250,000 after the Scottish Government responded to the Westminister Government’s Stamp Duty holiday. The change will mean about eight in 10 house buyers in Scotland will not pay LBTT. The average cost of a residential property in Scotland was £178,991 in 2018-19. Sunak announced stamp duty will not be applied to sales of properties under £500,000 in England, but Forbes said the lower threshold in Scotland allows her to also make an extra £50 million available to help 2000 first-time buyers. She said the Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned first-time buyers may be worse off because of the UK Government’s changes, and she pledged a further £50 million for the Scottish Government’s First Home Fund. That is a shared equity scheme that can provide first-time buyers with up to £25,000 to help them get on the property ladder.

She said: “By taking a distinctive approach in Scotland to raising the starting threshold under LBTT, I am able to target further support elsewhere and to target it where the UK Government failed to provide funding to devolved administrations.”