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27 June 2007

Stamp duty issue must be tackled

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by Kay Mitchell

Stamp duty issue must be tackled

As Gordon Brown prepares to become the new prime minister, one of his priorities must be to address the matter of stamp duty. UK property is becoming unaffordable due to increasing prices and stamp duty thresholds.

Over the past decade, UK house prices have increased by 215% and the proportion of take-home pay being spent on mortgage repayments is now at 45% – more than double the 1997 level of 22%.

Over the same period, stamp duty has risen and homebuyers today face a stamp duty bill of over £1,800 with the average price of a home currently at £181,584.

Many analysts believe that Mr Brown should be able to tackle this issue following his role as chancellor. He can make a difference to family finances by connecting stamp duty to house price inflation and provide the same tax breaks to all child savers and increasing the limits on ISAs. This would indicate that he is dedicated to solving these issues.

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