Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Commenting on today's Budget Wendy Evans-Scott, President of the
National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), said:
"This Budget week is proving to bring a double whammy for first
time buyers: not only has the Chancellor failed to offer any real
help to lower and middle income homeowners and First Time Buyers,
but from Saturday, the Stamp Duty Holiday for FTBs will be coming
to an end.
"Property is already over-taxed in the UK compared to other OECD
countries* and instead of using the Budget as an opportunity for
whole-scale reform of property taxation, the Chancellor has chosen
to further tax property sales with the introduction of a 7% rate at
the upper end of the market.
"The Budget was a chance for George Osborne to support the green
shoots of recovery, but there is actually very little in today's
announcement to support the UK's fragile property market. To get
the market moving again homeowners across the whole market need the
confidence to sell their homes, and First Time Buyers need
encouragement to climb onto the property ladder. Today's Budget
"The Chancellor left the unfair 'slab' structure of Stamp Duty
untouched, despite a strong case for reform. Stamp Duty distorts
the housing market, and hits First Time Buyers the hardest. It is a
tax on aspiration."
The NAEA has consistently called for Stamp Duty Land Tax to be
modernised, and in its pre-Budget submission it called on the
Chancellor to move away from the current 'slab' structure and to
create a fairer, more logical system.
Mrs Evans-Scott continued: "The dampening effect Stamp Duty has
on the housing market recovery is recognised across the industry.
With First Time Buyers struggling to purchase their first home, the
Government should think imaginatively and consider a one-off
stimulus, such as a First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit as used in the
*Recent figures show that the UK already has the highest
property tax take of any OECD country (4.2% of GDP compared to the
OECD average of 1.8%). Source: Centre for Policy Studies.