The Scotsman Cartoon: First time devo house buyers

FINANCE Secretary John Swinney lamented the No vote in the referendum on Scottish independence yesterday as he set out the budget at Holyrood.

Illustration: Iain Green

Mr Swinney said a Yes vote would have allowed him to “deliver a Budget that would lay the foundations for an alternative to austerity”.

He attacked the UK system of land and buildings transaction tax which created “distortions in the residential property market” and “placed a barrier in front of first-time buyers”.

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Under the first land tax rates set in Scotland in centuries, a first-time buyer purchasing a house of £130,000 will pay no tax, Mr Swinney announced.