Stamp Duty relief slammed by MPs

The government is under fire from a parliamentary committee for failing to extend Stamp Duty relief for zero-carbon properties to existing homes.

The criticism follows chancellor Alistair Darling’s Budget announcement last month that buyers of new-build flats will be eligible for Stamp Duty relief, providing they follow up recommendations in their Energy Performance Certificates.

In its seventh report published last week, the Communities and Local Government Committee, which examines the department’s expenditure, administration and policy, says: “Stamp Duty relief will provide a way of stimulating the innovation needed to develop what is a niche market into a mass market.

“It is hard to see why this logic should apply only to new-build and once again the question arises of why the government continues to focus on new-build to the disadvantage of existing stock that represents the bulk of the problem.”

The committee proposes that Stamp Duty relief apply to all home owners who fulfil recommendations in their EPCs within a year of moving into their properties.