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Houses (Sale Prices)

Volume 467: debated on Tuesday 12 July 1949

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware of the profiteering in the prices of houses for sale with vacant possession; and whether he will consider imposing a substantial Purchase Tax on such sales.

The Purchase Tax could not be used as an instrument for imposing a tax on the seller of a house.

Could not my right hon. and learned Friend find some other method of dealing with this exploitation?

I have answered the Question I was asked, which was whether we could use Purchase Tax for the purpose.

If Purchase Tax is not available for the purpose, should not the Chancellor of the Exchequer think in terms of some form of capital appreciation tax, because millions are slipping by in this and other connections at a time when he is scratching around for a million here and there.

Does not my right hon. and learned Friend think that this problem might at least be mitigated by some differential form of Stamp Duty? Is he aware that it has become a national scandal?

I am afraid I cannot answer questions that are not on the Order Paper.