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Mortgage article 13:Millions more homes now liable for stamp duty

9 April 2002

New figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders shed fresh light on the extent to which the Government's failure to index taxes and benefits fully in line with house prices has unfairly penalised home-owners. More than 60% of first-time buyers paid stamp duty in the final quarter of 2001, compared to 23% in the second quarter of 1997.

The CML figures show that in order to rise in line with house price inflation since May 1997:

the stamp duty threshold, which has remained unchanged at 60,000, should increase to 85,400;

the threshold for inheritance tax, which has risen from 215,000 to 242,000; needs to increase to 306,000; and

the cap on state support for mortgage interest payments, unchanged at 100,000, should rise to 142,300.
As well as leaving the stamp duty threshold unchanged, the Government has also introduced higher rates for more valuable properties, which have subsequently been increased further. Stamp duty has now been increased four times in five years and is currently levied at three per cent on properties worth more than 250,000 and four per cent on those sold for more than 500,000. In 2000-01, stamp duty on residential property yielded 2.2 billion in revenue for the Government. 

The CML's Deputy Director General Peter Williams said: Next page



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