Stamp duty worst fleecing Horsham, says think tank

JPNS-05-10-12-046 RISE in stamp duty George Osborne pic 1
JPNS-05-10-12-046 RISE in stamp duty George Osborne pic 1

Nearly all of Horsham district’s £19m stamp duty revenue was shelled out by people paying rates ‘designed for the very wealthy’ last year, the latest statistics can show.

Just over 94 per cent of the income (£18m) was footed by home-buyers who paid the highest bands of the ‘hated’ tax, according to a study by the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA).

Horsham district came top in West Sussex for the percentage of revenue taken from the three per cent or higher bands of the tax.

Its rate came in less than a third of Crawley’s at 32 per cent.

Nearly 2,000 stamp duty transactions were made in the district in 2012, of which residents who paid between three to seven per cent on top of original home prices accounted for roughly half (57 per cent).

Only six per cent of the stamp duty revenue came from the minimal band - one per cent tax for houses priced from £125,000 to £250,000 - the lowest proportion in the county and less than a fifth of Crawley’s rate at 32 per cent.

The TPA launched a new nation-wide campaign calling for a cut in stamp duty tax on Tuesday (Aug 5).

Matthew Sinclair, its chief executive, said: “Owning your own home is an important milestone, but for many families it seems harder and harder to reach.

“Ministers have done nothing to ease the burden imposed by Stamp Duty, which is an unfair double tax that gets in the way of would-be first-time buyers and others thinking about moving.

“Instead they have made things worse with new thresholds and new, higher rates.

“The Government needs to act on ministers’ rhetoric about getting people onto the property ladder and cut this unfair tax.”

The TPA’s new research paper, including tables for the amount of stamp duty paid last year for every local authority in England and Wales, can be seen at www.taxpayersalliance.com/stampduty.pdf