Overhaul Stamp Duty, say experts

Industry figures have called for a root and branch reform of Stamp Duty in response to the government’s tax holiday for properties valued at £175,000 and below.

Last week Prime Minister Gordon Brown unveiled his mortgage rescue plan, which included a £50,000 increase in the Stamp Duty threshold for 12 months from September 3.

But the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries says an extensive review of the tax is long overdue.

Chris Cummings, director-general of AMI, says: “We would like to see a root and branch reform of Stamp Duty that considers its efficacy in today’s market and draws on international comparators to assess its role in public finance.”

AMI suggests that Stamp Duty bands should be reviewed regularly and linked to house prices so that the tax would rise and fall with the value of property, allowing all borrowers to benefit equally from reforms.

Mike Fitzgerald, sales director at Brentchase Financial Services, says: “This reform will only help those at the bottom of the property ladder.”