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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Figures reveal stamp duty income dropping after government's reform

There has been a £620m decline in stamp duty income for the government in the first nine months of 2015 according to high-end estate agency Knight Frank.

The agency has amongst its core clientele many vendors with properties priced over £937,000, most of which will have attracted higher levels of stamp duty since December 2014.

It says that despite a slump in sales over much of last year, London boroughs accounted for 44.3 per cent of all stamp duty in England and Wales between January and October 2015, up from 41 per cent in same period in 2014. 

However, despite the increase the volume of transactions in London has declined more steeply than anywhere else in England and Wales since stamp duty rates were raised for properties in Chancellor George Osborne’s 2014 autumn statement.

The agency says stamp duty revenue was down between January and October last year by £105m in London compared to the same period in 2014.

“The government is on the way to relying on London for half the country’s stamp duty revenue yet it is the area which appears most sensitive to recent and proposed stamp duty reforms” according to Tom Bill, head of London residential research at Knight Frank.

“The risk with higher transaction costs is that you actually lower the tax take and reduce social mobility to the point it becomes counter-productive” he claims.

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