1st October 2019

HMRC stamp duty: ‘This vicious sting in the tail has lost the Treasury £369m in a year despite a market that continues to rise in value’ — Andrew Southern, Southern Grove

  • If you are covering HMRC’s 2018/19 Stamp Duty statistics, the following comment from Andrew Southern, chairman of property developer Southern Grove, may be of interest:

    “First-time buyer relief is a bit of a distraction from the real issue, which is that this is an overly punitive tax that forces many to sit on their hands. 

    “Even after first-time buyer relief and Welsh devolution have been taken into account, the Treasury has still seen its tax take from property transactions fall by £369million in a year. This is against a backdrop of continued property price increases nationwide.

    “Stamp duty is the weak link that will continue to bind the market’s progress and only last month was blamed for a monumental retreat in the number of cash buyers.

    “A healthy 9% rise in receipts in England a year ago has been replaced by a 6% decline and, while you can be sure no one will shed a tear for the Chancellor, it is what this means for ordinary people that matters — they want to move, feel they have the capital to move but can’t get their head around the absolutely vicious sting in the tail that means someone purchasing a £500,000 home pays £15,000 just for the privilege of doing so.”

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