Stamp duty needs reform

The government should raise the threshold for stamp duty in order to aid the recovery of the housing market.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), as part of its Budget submission, has argued for the scrapping of the higher stamp duty bands and for the threshold for the 1 per cent band to be raised to £250,000.

The CML said that stamp duty requires a full review as the tax helps to create distortion and inefficiency.

The CML continued: "If the measures fail, the authorities will at least have made a determined attempt to mitigate market conditions.

"If they succeed, and property sales stabilise or increase, the cost to the government may be less than expected and a higher number of transactions would support other measures to underpin the wider economy."