Pressure group urges Chancellor to slash stamp duty

Could a cut in stamp duty really be on the cards?

Could a cut in stamp duty really be on the cards? - Credit: Sarah Allison

Britain’s property tax burden rose by £1.8 billion in 2014-15, up 2.5 per cent to £66.8 billion.

This increase was mostly due to stamp duty, which rose by £1.5 billion, while the rest was from business rates (council tax receipts actually fell by £0.1 billion).

Research by the Tax Payers’ Alliance pressure group showed that property taxes in 2014-15 placed a burden on all regions of the UK, averaging 3.6 per cent of the national economy.

They also established that the UK had the heaviest property taxes in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) during 2014, at 4.1 per cent of GDP, followed by France (3.9 per cent), Belgium (3.5 per cent) and Canada (3.1 per cent).

The pressure group has called on the new Chancellor, Philip Hammond, to halve stamp duty in the wake of this research.

Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “We often hear about the impact of high property taxes on the overheated London housing market, but the truth is that they are a massive burden in every region of the UK.

“High rates of stamp duty, business rates and council tax are a significant barrier to getting on the housing ladder or growing a business - and this is exacerbated by restrictive planning policies which mean firms can’t expand and we are building nowhere near enough homes.

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“The new Chancellor should immediately cut stamp duty in half with a view to abolishing it entirely, and politicians must also ease the planning rules so that we can finally start building the number of homes we need. Only then will home ownership become a more realistic proposition for millions of hard-pressed taxpayers.”