MPs have backed a campaign calling on the government to review new
laws on stamp duty paid by children’s care home providers.
Several have written to government ministers urging them to
re-examine the laws, which have just been passed in the Finance Act
2003. The act could increase by eight times the amount providers
pay in tax when negotiating new leases on premises because of a new
way of calculating stamp duty.
It is estimated that up to 50 per cent of the 1,141 children’s
homes in England operate from leased premises. Many homes run from
residential-style properties and face high lease payments because
the boom in house prices in the past five years. Consequently,
stamp duty – which is worked out on a percentage of the lease cost
– could also be significantly higher.
Andrew Rome, chairperson of the Association of Independent Child
Care Providers, said he was concerned it could create further
financial problems for home operators because it was difficult to
pass on the increases to the councils they ran the homes for.