30 April 2019

Time for action on Stamp Duty

We live in a very polarised society at the moment. Whether its Leave vs Remain, Tory vs Labour or Baby Boomers vs Millennials, opinions seem very divided.

When it comes to taxation there are also two camps. There are those who think taxes should be higher and those who think taxes should be lower. Higher taxes tend to result in less tax being collected by the government. This is because when you tax enterprise and hard work too much you end up discouraging enterprise and hard work. When government reduces taxes they always collect more revenue because people don’t mind paying a fair rate of tax so they are happier and more hard working. This has certainly been the case since corporation tax was reduced and since the 50% income tax rate was lowered. This simple truth has been well known for generations.

The present government haven’t followed this lesson across the board however. Since the increase in higher rates of stamp duty there has been a reduction in transactions across the property sector resulting in a reduction in tax collected. During the last tax year the government scooped £12.9b of our money in stamp duty which is quite a reduction on the £13.6b they scooped during the previous year.

Time for Philip Hammond to wise up and reform this odious tax on aspiration.