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Calls for stamp duty costs to be cut

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Former Foreign Minister Boris Johnson is calling for cuts to "absurdly high" stamp duty tax and has branded the system a “disgrace”. This follows the revelation that the large scale stamp duty reforms introduced by then-Chancellor George Osborne in 2014 have resulted in a £317m drop in Treasury income during the second quarter of this year.

The duty has changed over decades from being a simple transparent tax to a complicated obstacle for buyers to overcome says Estate Agent Today who also reveal that there have been a dozen different stamp duty regimes in the UK since the Millennium.

History of stamp duty

Stamp duty was introduced in the 1950s you paid nothing at all on a home up to £30,000. After that threshold, you paid 1% of the purchase price above £30,000. The average priced home was only £20,000, so relatively few homebuyers paid any stamp duty. 

In the 1990s the threshold was doubled to £60,000 to match escalating prices.

In the past 18 years there have been several regimes including the first time buyers’ duty holiday introduced in 2010 and scrapped in 2012, and the larger stamp duty exemption for first time buyers announced last November.

The Daily Mirror today reported that two out of five think stamp duty should be abolished altogether for first-time buyers, and others believe the duty tax bands should rise alongside house prices.