The president of the National Association of Estate Agents has given his reaction to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.
Mark Hayward said: “Today’s Autumn Statement gave little reassurance that the Government has put the problems facing the UK housing market high enough on the political agenda. We had hoped to see an acknowledgement that the Stamp Duty Land Tax system isn’t working in its current format. In reality, the Chancellor’s Statement was a missed opportunity to make this tax fairer for all.
“The update on the Scottish Government’s plans to replace Stamp Duty with a more progressive Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) announced earlier this week, is of interest. Ensuring the amount of tax paid is more closely related to the value of the property would, in our view, offer a more reasonable alternative.
“Since the economic downturn took hold, we have repeatedly highlighted the importance of supporting the first time buyer in particular, to get onto the housing ladder to encourage upward momentum. In order to achieve this and in light of continued bank lending difficulties, we believe similar reform of Stamp Duty in England and Wales is essential.”