Peter Rollings, CEO of estate agent Marsh & Parsons commenting on the budget
Wed 23 Mar 2011
"Its a step in the right direction that the government has begun to take positive action to provide more aid to first-time buyers through the First Buy scheme. But the Chancellor has missed a golden opportunity to address the outdated and unequal stamp duty tax system. Under the current structure, stamp duty is a regional tax rather than a national progressive tax. As London house prices continue to head upwards, the average flats value is higher than the current threshold, and the current stamp duty holiday on deals under 250,000 does not make the slightest difference to most would-be buyers in the capital. First-time buyers in London and the south east are bearing the financial brunt of the tax, and will continue to do so as long as stamp duty doesnt take into account the fact that house prices are not uniform across the UK."