Date Published 10 December 2014
Last week George Osborne unveiled this years Autumn Statement and the statistic that struck out most readily to us was that stamp duty is going to be cut. This means that millions of middle-class homebuyers will pay thousands of pounds less in stamp duty following a historic overhaul of the 'damaging' tax announced by George Osborne.
The change in tax will leave 98 per cent of homebuyers better off, simply because they won't be having to pay as much in taxes; however, stamp duty bills will rise for those who purchase proper-ties worth more than £1?million.
In the final Autumn Statement before next years general election, the Chancellor described the current stamp duty arrangements as a 'badly designed tax on aspiration'. In other words, Osborne wants to help homebuyers and not hinder them. By reducing the levy for the vast majority of homebuyers, he sought to woo wavering Labour supporters across middle England who support Ed Miliband's mansion tax.
The Government's official spending watchdog predicted that the stamp duty reforms would drive up prices of properties under £1?million.
In a television interview, the Chancellor said that 'there has been a debate in this country about taxing houses. The system I have introduced today replaces a badly designed system that has dis-torted our housing market for decades. It reduces the stamp taxes for 98 per cent of people who pay them in this country. It increases the taxes on the most expensive 2 per cent of homes, but only asks people to pay that tax when they buy the house and they have the money.' The Chan-cellor said the reforms, which appeared to catch Labour off-guard, showed that the Government 'backs aspiration'.
In a clear attack on Mr Miliband's mansion tax policy, Mr Osborne said: 'It is in stark contrast to those who would hit people's pensions and jobs and homes with higher taxes. That is an approach we entirely reject.'
So if you're in the market as a homebuyer, 2015 may be the year for you!