Spencer McCarthy, Chairman, Churchill Retirement Living, responds to the Chancellor’s Summer Budget
“For too long, those considering downsizing have been forgotten. Today’s announcement that older homeowners will also be allowed to benefit from inheritance tax free allowances is a welcome change.
“New rules announced in the Emergency Budget mean government will introduce a new nil-rate band from April 2017. The allowance, which will be on top of the current tax-free allowance of £325,000 will also be protected if a person chooses to downsize their home.
“This growing group of older people considering downsizing could be crucial to unlocking much needed family homes in the UK and getting the housing market moving.
“News that over 75s will have the licence fee paid for by the BBC is also a positive move, ensuring that benefit remains secure for older people.
“Meanwhile, we look forward to announcement of planning reforms later this week. A fit-for-purpose planning process is fundamental to delivering the homes we need in the UK – be they at the top or bottom of the property ladder.
“At Churchill we’ve long called for changes to planning policy - requiring local authorities to plan properly for older people’s housing by identifying need and encouraging development for over 60s to come forward.
“We want to see changes to the planning system like creating a specific use class category for retirement properties - equivalent to affordable housing.”