Stamping down

This report by a former No 10 adviser for the UK think tank the Centre for Policy Studies argues that stamp duty on homes is a tax on mobility and aspiration, and calls for drastic cuts.

The average home in England now pays £2,300 and in the South East pays over £6,000. During the recent Conservative Party leadership contest, there was near-unanimity that stamp duty needs to be reformed, with the figure of £500,000 often cited as the level below which no stamp duty should be charged. There is now a debate as to whether or not the Government can afford tax cuts such as stamp duty or whether these cuts have to wait for the long term. However, Alex Morton, Head of Policy at the Centre for Policy Studies think tank – recently nominated by Conservative MPs as the most influential think tank in Westminster – and the former housing adviser to David Cameron, now argues in the report Stamping Down that stamp duty has distorted the market to such an extent that the costs of cutting it are far lower than generally realised.

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