Stamp duty should be raised to £1m, if this Government raised the threshold by the same amount as it was increased in the early 1990s, according to new research. The Centre for Policy Studies has been researching the different behaviours of Governments in times of recession and found that in the early 1990s stamp duty was increased eightfold, which meant 99% of the country was exempt; a comparable rise today would bring the threshold to £1m, the research suggests.

In comparison, the temporary extension of the threshold to £175,000 seems tame, says the National Association of Estate Agents. Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the NAEA said: ‘These figures reveal stamp duty in 2009 for what it is – a tax on first-time-buyers and ambitious home owners with no other purpose than to give the Government as much cash from as many people as they can get away with.

‘This report suggests that the Government could not afford to get rid of stmap duty or to raise the threshold to a comparative level to that set during the last recession. The NAEA believes that a confident and recovering housing market would deliver more benefit to the country’s economy than any short-term measures hatched at the Treasury.’

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