And what the industry says…

Ray Boulger, senior technical manager of Charcol “The chancellor has again demonstrated his preference to perpetuate an unfair tax rather than undertake a well overdue reform. His silence on the unfair structure of Stamp Duty is deafening.”

Rob Clifford, managing director of mortgageforce “Stamp Duty is one way in which the chancellor has missed a golden opportunity to address the first-time buyer problem. There seems to be a relative disinterest in getting first-time buyers onto the housing ladder.”

Mike Fry, director at Halton Insurance Services “Gordon Brown needs to do something about Stamp Duty. It seems odd that he mentioned homeowners without including anything about Stamp Duty.”

John Stewart, director at PMI Independent Financial Adviser “First-time buyers need assistance getting on to the property ladder. However, the message about Stamp Duty obviously isn’t getting across. People cannot buy anything for under 60,000; the government is missing an opportunity.”

Andy Barr, spokesman for Chelsea “We are surprised that Stamp Duty was not mentioned. The security of the housing market needs to be sorted out because people cannot afford to buy houses, and Stamp Duty needs to be addressed.”

Mark Chilton, chief executive at Purely Mortgages “The government could restructure Stamp Duty without any effect on the Stock Exchange; it is disappointing for first-time buyers.”