Scrap stamp duty, argue campaigners

The Tax Payers Alliance (TPA) is urging the government to abolish the ‘unfair’ stamp duty, as it is preventing people buying their own home.

In a report, the group state that the three per cent stamp duty that additional homes surcharge will help prospective buyers, but is unfair to tenants in rented accommodation.

Their report, ‘Taxing tenants: how taxes on landlords end up hitting tenants’, also argues that the restriction of finance cost relief for individual landlords will also advantage prospective buyers at the expense of tenants.

As part of their recommendations, TPA believes that the government should: cancel the additional homes stamp duty surcharge and restrictions on finance relief; halve all stamp duty rates immediately with a view to abolishing it entirely; and reform planning restrictions to declassify some green belt land and allow taller, denser construction in urban areas.

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of TPA said: “For decades politicians have failed to tackle the root causes of the housing crisis: a chronic lack of supply. What's more, stamp duty is still punitively high and gimmicky tweaks to the tax system will ultimately end up penalising tenants and increasing rents.’

“The new Chancellor should now seize the opportunity to drastically simplify and reduce property taxes as well as liberalise planning restrictions, which prevent huge swathes of land from being built on for no good reason at all.”