MPS IN HISTORIC STAMP DUTY DEBATE

Members of Parliament have gathered to discuss the current state of stamp duty, marking the most high profile debate on this legislation since it was introduced in 2003.

St Albans MP Anne Main gave a speech in which she condemned the government’s failure to move stamp duty in line with rising house prices, labelling it “a strong contender for the worst-designed tax”.

The main area of contention stems from the fact that stamp duty bands have not altered despite a rise in house prices, with 50% of homes expected to be affected by 2017/18. Mrs Main suggested that every home in her constituency would be subject to stamp duty, and that differing regional house prices were creating a “postcode tax”.

Government revenues from stamp duty are around £1 billion a year, an amount which the Daily Express says has risen 4.6 times faster than house prices, and 6.5 times faster than earnings.

Mrs Main also argued that the nature of these fees “enshrine inequality” by discouraging young people from attempting to get on the property ladder, whilst at the same dissuading pensioners from downsizing once their children have left home. This in turn means there are fewer opportunities for families to move into the sort of house their circumstances require.

DEBATE HIGHLIGHTS IMPORTANCE OF SDLT MITIGATION

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