Budget: Stamp duty still needs reform says BSA

Nia Williams

March 25, 2010

Commenting on the measures announced by the Chancellor in yesterday’s Budget, Adrian Coles, director-general of the BSA, said: “The announcement that first-time buyers will not have to pay stamp duty on house purchases up to £250,000 is welcome and will provide assistance to those struggling to get on the housing ladder. However, this move alone will not lead to anything like a housing market recovery and it also fails to address the fundamental flaws with stamp duty.

“The current ‘slab’ system results in the bunching of transactions at prices just below the thresholds. Stamp Duty needs serious reform and we urge the Government to research how the system could be reformed to reduce the price distortions.

“The six month extension to the standard interest rate at which SMI is payable is a sensible one. SMI provides an effective alternative to other Government support for struggling homeowners. However, we believe that a detailed review of all Government schemes to avoid repossession should be undertaken to ensure that appropriate safety nets are available to homeowners in the future.”

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