1 Apr

New call for stamp duty suspension

New call for stamp duty suspension

Stamp duty should be temporarily suspended on all residential property, it has been argued.

Independent mortgage firm John Charcol has said that if chancellor Alistair Darling were to completely drop the tax it would cost under £2 billion per year, less than one-sixth of the revenue loss of the recent VAT cut.

Senior technical director at the firm Ray Boulger commented that such a move should help first-time buyers, commenting that borrowing money to pay for stamp duty "was easy until the credit crunch, but can now be difficult with the much lower maximum loan-to-values in today's market".

He suggested the suspension should be indefinite so buyers do not risk delaying in the knowledge of how long they had to buy, while a future chancellor could restore the tax in a new form at his or her own discretion.

With the Budget approaching, there have been numerous calls for changes to stamp duty.

The National Association of Estate Agents recently called for the levy to either be abolished or reformed.

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