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Stamp Duty

Volume 35: debated on Thursday 27 January 1983

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the yield from stamp duty charged on the purchase of dwelling units in 1981–82.

The estimated yield from transfer of residential property in 1981–82 was £315 million. The yield this year is likely to be slightly less because of the increase in the threshold in March 1982.

I appreciate that the thresholds were raised in the last Budget. May I ask my hon. Friend to bear in mind that this impost is a considerable additional burden for many purchasers of properties? Will he promise to communicate to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in good time before 15 March the fact that many people think that it would be fair and reasonable if the raising of the thresholds of this tax became a continuing and annual process?

I shall get my hon. Friend's message across. It has not been the practice to increase the stamp duty threshold each year. House prices have not increased very significantly over the past year. It should be borne in mind that two-thirds of house purchasers do not pay stamp duty.

Does my hon. Friend agree that without indexation the burden increases, particularly for those who have to move to find jobs? At a time of high unemployment, should not the Government increase the threshold?

My right hon. and learned Friend increased it last year. As a result, there are now about the same proportion of home buyers paying stamp duty as there were in 1973. About 90 per cent. of house purchasers get the benefit of the threshold and reduced rate band.