Stamp duty, the answer?

The Government is looking at a ‘rescue’ package for the current suffering housing market.   The government has pledged to “help people with housing” though has yet to announce the measures and is still working on the exact policy. One of the proposed measures which is being speculated upon is maybe to reduce, freeze or possibly scrap stamp duty. This possibility obviously has a massive impact on revenue to the Treasury.

The speculation in regard to stamp duty is causing the opposite effect that it would be hoped it would have, if it was to be reduced or removed. House sales are being postponed as potential buyers are stalling waiting for confirmation of ther Governments’ intentions. The Government has stated that the talk within the media regarding stamp duty is just speculation and that no proposals have been put forward.

The shadow Treasury spokesman, Philip Hammond, said mentioning a stamp duty suspension without confirming it one way or the other had “created a significant incentive for people to delay the purchase of a property in the hope of avoiding the payment of stamp duty on the transaction”.

“The uncertainty can only undermine the market further, reducing the volume of transactions when they are already at historic lows,” he said.

“Indeed, we now have the worst of both worlds – a potential delay in property transactions, but with no definite proposal on the table.”

Home sellers are reporting frustration at the Governements’ indecison in this matter and it does not seem that this has been considered. Many now feel that they must step forward and make an announcement as without it, the housing market could be stopped dead in its tracks.

We agree that a decison needs to now be made and announced, there is no room for uncertainity in the current housing market. What were good intentions towards helping the housing market seem to have backfired ; this needs to be addressed and rectified before further damage is caused and felt.

The consequence of this indecision and speculation has caused the real question to be pushed to the side lines for the time being. Is reducing or freezing stamp duty the answer? This is yet to be seen and no doubt will cause even further speculation and debate.

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