Chancellor’s Stamp Duty comments compromise house sellers

| August 7, 2008 | 0 Comments
Chancellor's Stamp Duty comments compromise house sellers

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, has been heavily criticised by opposition MPs, housebuilders, estate agents and others, for comments made earlier this week about stamp duty.

Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday, Mr Darling said a suspension of the tax would be included among a range of measures he is considering to kick-start the UK’s housing market.

However, firm details of any change in the levy will not emerge until the autumn, when the Government will be revealing an economic recovery plan.

With the possibility of some relief from the controversial tax having been left open for up to three months, the Chancellor’s critics are appealing for clarification.

While the prospect of a suspension of the levy is appealing to house purchasers and particularly first-time buyers, it is disastrous for property developers and anyone needing to sell their home in a hurry.

House sales are expected to slump by 50% this year but if first-time buyers hold back even further in the hope of reducing their outlay, the prospect worsens.

Falling transactions also add to the downward pressure on prices and HBOS, the banking group that owns Halifax, is already predicting that house prices will fall by up to one-fifth over 2008 and 2009 combined.

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