View more on these topics

Charcol disappointed at lack of Stamp Duty reform

Charcol says it is is disappointed, but not surprised, with lack of reform on Stamp Duty, in the pre-Budget.

It says that the chancellor should have increased the thresholds to help all, but especially first-time buyers.

Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at Charcol, says: “We hear frequently that the government is keen to remove all inequality in the tax and benefits systems, but actions speak louder than words, especially from the chancellor.

“His silence on reforming the current grossly unfair structure of Stamp Duty land tax is deafening.

“Abolishing this tax was always a non-starter, but Charcol would have liked to see it reformed to reflect the way income tax is structured.

“With income tax, the higher percentage rates of tax are only payable on the amount of income over certain thresholds. However, with Stamp Duty land tax,
once you reach a certain level, borrowers are forced to pay the higher percentage on the total amount.

“As expected the Chancellor has yet again demonstrated his preference to perpetuate an unfair tax rather than undertake a well overdue reform.

“Therefore we would encourage a back bench amendment to next year’s Finance Bill to at least highlight this problem further and hopefully gain enough support to become law.

“As a general eection is expected shortly after the Budget, even if the amendment fails at least the publicity could help to make this a live election issue.

“In 1977 the then backbenchers, the late Audrey Wise and Jeff Rooker, now Lord Rooker, spectacularly won the day with an amendment to the 1977 Finance Bill, which became known as the Rooker-Wise amendment.

“As a result of this success income tax thresholds have ever since automatically been increased each year in line with inflation, unless the chancellor specifically overrides the increase.

“Such a clause automatically avoids stealth increases in taxation creeping up on us again.

“A sensible starting point for the 1% tax band would be the average property price, based on Land Registry figures, i.e. currently 188,000, and the annual inflation
adjustment, up or down, should also be based on Land Registry figures.”


Industry could take six months to recover from M-Day

Half of brokers say it could take at least six months for business to be back to normal post M-Day, says Advantage Home Loans.A further one in ten think it could take a year before business levels return to normalA recent survey of brokers, conducted by branded mortgage arranger Advantage Home Loans, has revealed that […]

Praxis joins RAMP to drive packaging standards

Praxis has become a member of the Regulatory Alliance of Mortgage Packagers as part of its continuing commitment to improving standards in the sector.Praxis, which launched in 1994, has full FSA authorisation for its branded lending services and becomes the 11th member of RAMP.Richard Stettner, managing director of Praxis, says: RAMP membership is a logical […]

Warning on online cover sales

IFA Master Adviser is warning brokers not to cut corners when selling life and critical illness cover or face the consequences.

Conti appoints business development director

Conti Financial Services has appointed David Wells as its new business development director, with effect from January 2005.The move is designed to help steer the firm through its next phase of expansion.Wells has extensive experience of the overseas property market, having served as chairman and managing director of Abbey National France from 1999-2004, the culmination […]

The death of retirement – a boost for protection?

According to our recent report on the death of retirement, changes in workplace pension provision mean that coming generations of retirees could have a radically different experience of retirement from their parents. The average contribution rate into an old-style final salary pension was around 20% of total wages, the statutory minimum for a new automatic […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up