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Stamp duty may be suspended
The Chancellor Alistair Darling, has, during an interview with the BBC, said he would not rule out completely a stamp duty holiday. He is currently studying proposals to scrap or suspend payments for a period of time to allow the struggling housing market the chance to recover.
The government has benefited from over £31.5 billion during the past 10 years and any drop in revenue would have far reaching effects. So far this year property prices have fallen by on average 8 per cent which in itself would lower the amount of revenue already being generated as more homes fall into the lower price bracket for the duty payable on completion.
Currently the amount paid to the Government on stamp dury is set at 1 per cent for homes valued at £125,000 to £250,000 and then 3 per cent for properties up to £500,000 and 4 per cent for anything above that. Predictions are that property prices will fall a further 20 per cent on average next year. A source at the treasury said that "Ministers and officials are very exercised about the housing market and they are looking at a lot of different measures". There has been some critisism from recent home buyers who say it would be unfair on them if stamp duty was to be set aside for those who have not yet bought a property.
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