COULD ENGLISH REGIONS SET THEIR OWN STAMP DUTY?

A government report has recommended that fiscal devolution be extended to English regions in the same way as it is to Wales and Scotland.

The Communities and Local Government Committee suggested that the power to set regional stamp duty, council tax and business rates should be granted to a few larger areas at first, before being afforded to each local authority across England.

It added that affording this extra responsibility at a local level could improve regional economies, while the more prominent role granted to MPs would be more democratic than having central government control these matters.

Committee chair Clive Betts MP argued that local authorities were best placed to assess the needs of their region, and that the government should consider providing incentives for authorities that can maintain control of taxes, spending and public services.

SCOTTISH REFERENDUM PROVES CATALYST FOR POTENTIAL CHANGE

This topic has been further thrust into the limelight in the wake of government plans to devolve more powers to Scotland if it elects to remain part of the UK after its highly-publicised referendum in September.

Senior political figures, including London Mayor Boris Johnson, have been critical of the fact that the government has focused on the ongoing devolution of power granted to Wales and Scotland, while seemingly ignoring the possibility that England could also benefit from this system.

However, this situation shows signs of changing, with the Chancellor last month floating the idea of devolving some powers to “northern hubs”. Labour leader Ed Miliband has also pledged £30 million towards the issue if his party can win the 2015 general election.

TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS

While it may be a while before your local authority enjoys any extra powers and responsibilities, if you are moving home then you are already in a position to mitigate your stamp duty obligations.

Fiducia can help you save money on your SDLT, and all our processes are transparent and fully compliant with financial regulations. Call us on 01625 599 200 to find out more.