The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has urged the Chancellor to consider replacing the current Stamp Duty system with a graduated structure in his pre-Budget report. The call for Stamp Duty reform was included in a range of suggestions the CML submitted for inclusion in the report, due before the end of the year.
The CML has undertaken to research the level of market distortion caused by the current Stamp Duty system and will present the results to the Treasury in the new year.
The CML also pressed for changes to shared ownership schemes, the Inheritance Tax (IHT) threshold and the National Land Information Service (NLIS).
Peter Williams, deputy director general of the CML, said: ‘The changes would help the housing market to operate more effectively, fairly and with less distortion. The current system of Stamp Duty is particularly unhelpful. It reduces labour mobility and creates artificial price bunching beneath each threshold.’
The CML called for funding for shared ownership schemes to be substantially increased, especially in the South. It pointed out that lenders are keen to co-operate. It said the Chancellor should also recognise the need to get the NLIS operational, ensuring adequate funding, and that IHT should be revised in line with current house prices, implying a threshold of £355,700 instead of the present £200,000.