A highly influential think tank says stamp duty should be scrapped for all house purchases once and for all.
Alexander Hammond of the Institute of Economic Affairs has told the Express newspaper that the duty causes so many distortions in the market the government should consider axing it.
He says: “Policies such as stamp duty land tax make purchasing a home more expensive and, as it penalises people moving houses, it acts as a disincentive for older people in bigger homes to downsize. Partly as a consequence of this distortive policy, more than 50 per cent of UK households are under-occupied.
“The stamp duty holiday for homes under £500,000 ended on June 30, however, the popularity of the policy coupled with harmful impact the tax has on our society means the permanent scrapping of stamp duty land tax should be considered.”
Hammond, who also wants a relaxation of planning laws regarding new house building, concludes in the Express by saying: “The unaffordability of houses today represents a colossal failure of government policy that is having a damaging impact on our society.
“A record 42 percent of adults under 34 live with their parents, a further 60 percent of those under 44 noted the high cost of housing has delayed them achieving big life goals such as marriage, and there’s even evidence that high house prices are adversely impacting the UK’s fertility rates.”
There are less than six weeks remaining before the end of the stamp duty holiday in England, which has been running for 13 months already.