HC Deb 10 March 1981 vol 1000 c778

The construction industry is particularly hard pressed and it is in any case sensible to remove unnecessary obstacles to development. We have identified three helpful changes to development land tax which will stimulate activity, and so employment, particularly this year and next.

First, under the present law, if industrial development is undertaken by the owner for his own use, tax is deferred until the property is sold or put to other use. I propose that for two years this relief should be extended to other types of development for the owner's use, including commercial and hotel development. If a development is begun by 1 April 1983 there will be no DLT for an owner to pay on any part intended for his own use until the property is sold or otherwise disposed of.

Secondly, where property is extended there will in future be no charge if the extension does not increase the size of the building by more than one-third. The current limit is one-tenth.

My third proposal will reduce the burden of DLT on builders who acquire land for residential development and will be of particular benefit where land is released by local authorities and others for building homes. The cost of these measures is put at up to £5 million in a full year but the benefit to the economy could be much greater.