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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Stamp Duty: agency poll shows doubt over Johnson honouring pledge

A survey undertaken for estate agency Jackson-Stops reveals that 55 per cent of people do not believe housing is a priority for Boris Johnson.

In the same study, which has quizzed both buyers and sellers, some 41 per cent of respondents say stamp duty reform is required across all price ranges.

A statement from the agency says: “It was widely reported during Boris Johnson’s campaign for Prime Minister that he planned to overhaul the stamp duty property tax charges. Yet since taking on the role … no further clarity has been provided. It is therefore unsurprising that more than half of Jackson-Stops’ respondents believe housing isn’t a priority for Boris Johnson.”

It is still two weeks before the major parties are expected to release their manifestos for the December 12 General Election: it is widely expected there will be a pledge in the Conservatives’ document to reform stamp duty, but it is unknown whether this will ‘spook’ the market and lead to delays in transactions until the election is over and the reform is implemented.

Last week a leading Conservative adviser, formerly working for ex-Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street, urged stamp duty on house sales to be scrapped or at least slashed.

Alex Morton - now head of policy at the right-wing Centre for Policy Studies and formerly an adviser to David Cameron as Prime Minister - says eliminating stamp duty on 90 per cent of properties valued below £500,000 and cutting it sharply above that would cost just £1.6 billion a year on balance.

He claims that stamp duty is one of the most unpopular taxes in the country, second only to inheritance tax, and that in 22 years it has risen from a maximum of just one per cent to up to 12 per cent for the most expensive homes. 

Meanwhile figures for stamp duty receipts released at the end of last week show that transactions increased by 14 per cent from 268,400 in Q2 this year to 305,100 in Q3. 

Q3 receipts were £3,150 million, around 20 per cent higher than in Q2, a sharper increase than for last year. This is due to a 25 per cent rise in residential receipts and a seven per cent rise in non-residential receipts. 

There were 61,200 transactions claimed first time buyers’ relief in Q3 2019, making a total of 401,900 claims since the relief’s introduction. The estimated total amount relieved over that period is £955 million. 

Poll: Do you believe Boris Johnson will honour his stamp duty pledges?

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    I have met Boris and discussed this. I do believe Boris will want to sort this out, giving the housing market a boost but likely now to be after Brexit, if it ever happens.

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