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Scotland's SNP government is set to announce new rates and bands for his flagship Land and Buildings Transaction Tax, just three months after introducing them as the so-called radical alternative to Stamp Duty.

Media reports north of the border say that Scottish Government finance minister John Swinney is going to significantly revise his original LBTT proposals which - when announced in October - were significantly cheaper for most buyers than the UK stamp duty thresholds in effect at that time.

But in December, UK chancellor George Osborne announced his own immediate overhaul of stamp duty, undercutting Swinney's version. Overnight, he lowered stamp duty for 98 per cent of homebuyers, with only those paying more than £937,000 facing a bigger bill.

The Herald, a Scottish newspaper, says that overnight the UK's new lower stamp duty made the incoming LBTT dearer for thousands of middle-class Scots.

Instead of 10 per cent of people paying more with LBTT, the figure became 20 per cent, while the threshold for paying more fell to £254,000, just above the average price of a detached home in Scotland. Since Osborne's move, Swinney has faced mounting calls to U-turn on his LBTT rates says the newspaper.

The new rates for LBTT are now expected to be unveiled to Members of the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday, ahead of a vote on the 2015-16 Scottish budget.

The changes are expected to mean that, as before, only the buyers of the most expensive 10 per cent of home pay more under LBTT than under current stamp duty.


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