Abbey: Stamp duty is a barrier to housing market

03 October 2007
Responding to the Conservatives' plans to raise the stamp duty threshold to £250,000, one expert has welcomed the move.

Clive Kornitzer of Abbey Mortgages said that aside from the actual cost of purchasing a home, stamp duty remains the "largest economic barrier" to getting onto the housing ladder.

The duty currently affects 60 per cent of first-time buyers, Mr Kornitzer said, arguing that many buyers have had to pay the tax as house price inflation has seen a large number of properties exceed the current threshold.

"Abbey has always strived to find new initiatives to help people get on the property ladder and would support any legislation that will help lower the barriers to entry for first-time buyers," he commented.

Conservative shadow chancellor George Osborne the party's plans to change both stamp duty and inheritance tax amounted to the "most important reform of capital taxes for a generation".

The tax cuts would be paid for by placing a £25,000 levy on individuals who register for non-domicile status, he said.

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