Treasury keeps mum over stamp duty break

House buyers are unlikely to gain clarity over whether to hang on for a
possible stamp duty break as the Government refused today to be drawn on its
proposals to kick-start the housing market.

The Treasury said there were lots of potential options and it would be
unlikely that any decision would be made quickly.

‘There are a number of options we need to consider at this difficult time,’
said a Treasury spokesman.

It refused to confirm or deny any possible plans to offer a stamp duty
holiday describing the idea as pure ‘speculation’ and a ‘kite flown’ by the
national media.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the National Association of
Estate Agents have criticised the government for creating an air of confusion
over possible measures to ease the market.

‘It is always dangerous for a government to announce that something will
happen in the future,’ said Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the National
Association of Estate Agents.

The industry would also be disappointed if stamp duty was retained but a
deferment of payment offered instead.

Any proposed tax break would be likely to form part of Gordon Brown’s
so-called economic recovery plan in the autumn. Other measures on the table
include relief for homeowners who lose their job, to ensure they can continue to
pay their mortgages.

Further Reading:

The Financial Times


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