BUDGET 2009: Stamp Duty holiday extended

Chancellor Alistair Daring is to extend the Stamp Duty holiday for properties under £175,000 he announced in the Budget today.

He will extend the holiday until the end of the year.

Ricky Okey, managing director of Abbey for Intermediaries, says: “The government’s extension to the Stamp Duty ‘holiday’ for properties up to £175,000 until the end of the year is welcome relief for struggling first time buyers but it’s disappointing that it doesn’t go further.

“The government should be doing more to help first-time buyers – ideally through a permanent increase to the nil rate threshold – or at the very least, abandoning the ‘slab’ taxation system and make stamp duty incremental, so it works like income tax.”

Its research shows there are more than 3.8 million potential first-time buyers trying to get onto the property ladder, which still represents a healthy part of business for many intermediaries.

Okey adds: “Although the extension of the Stamp Duty holiday helps, it is only a small part of what needs to be done to lower barriers to entry to the housing market and resolve what is an inherently flawed tax. The current slab taxation system is unfair and penalises all buyers, and in particular, those in London and the South East who are most likely to find they fall into the 3% tax band.”