The UK government has been accused of undermining efforts to tackle illicit Russian cashflows into Britain after it watered down a planned tax on overseas buyers.
An extra stamp duty charge for non-residents comes into force in England and Northern Ireland next April.
The government approved a 2% ‘surcharge’ in little-noticed documents published without fanfare on Tuesday (21 July), the same day as MPs’ heavily critical report on Russia.
But the Conservatives had promised a 3% levy as recently as November – and the low-key reduction of the planned rate has faced little scrutiny.
A financial crime lawyer warned in the wake of the Russia report that reducing the rate risked making Britain “more attractive” for money laundering.
Little-noticed watering down of party pledge
In the run-up to the election last year,