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Halifax and CML want rise in stamp duty threshold

The Government raked in £2.2bn from residential stamp duty in 2001, a rise of 225 per cent from the £675m paid in 1997, according to Halifax.

The figures have prompted both Halifax and the Council of Mortgage Lenders to press for the stamp duty threshold to be raised.

The CML says more than 60 per cent of first-time buyers paid stamp duty in the final quarter of 2001 compared with 23 per cent in the second quarter of 1997 when the Labour Government was elected.

Stamp duty now costs first-time buyers up to 5 per cent of average earnings, according to Halifax. It found that first-time buyers in six of the UK&#39s 12 economic regions now pay stamp duty compared with one in 1993.

Halifax says the stamp duty threshold, which has been £60,000 since 1993, should be raised to £74,850 in line with the retail price index.

The CML suggests raising the stamp duty threshold to £85,400 to bring it in line with house price inflation.

Halifax head of group economics Gary Styles says: “First-time buyers are paying the price of successive Governments&#39 failure to increase the stamp duty threshold.

“This failure has resulted in more first-time buyers from more regions of the UK now paying more tax to buy their home.”

CML deputy director general Peter Williams says: “Homeowners are making a growing contribution to Government revenue because of the failure to increase tax allowances.”

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