Action to give Greenwich's resident a foot up the housing ladder

Alistair Craig, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Greenwich & Woolwich, added his backing this week to new calls to reduce the burden of stamp duty on first time buyers and families in Greenwich. New research has revealed that in Greater London since 1997, the average first time buyer is now paying £1,268 more in tax to get on the housing ladder, while a typical home owner is paying £7,335 in additional stamp duty.

Alistair explained, “After seven years of Tony Blair's Government, the tax system has become unfair and complex. They have put up taxes 66 times. Pensioners, homeowners, businesses and families on all income levels are paying more to a government which is not giving them value for money. Taxes have risen by £5,000 per family, but 5,000 people still die every year from infections picked up in hospital.

“Like council tax and inheritance tax, the burden of stamp duty has now become unfair – in this case, indiscriminately hammering first time buyers and hard-working families.”

Under the proposals unveiled by Conservatives nationally for consultation, the burden of stamp duty on Greenwich residents could be reduced in a number of ways, such as by:

• Exempting first-time buyers to help them get on the housing ladder; or

• Linking the stamp duty thresholds to changes in house prices, stopping the increase in homebuyers being hit by the tax; or

• Doubling the lower stamp duty threshold to £120,000; or

• Reducing the unfairness and distortions of the tax by altering the thresholds and replacing the 'slabs' with a graduated system.

Alistair added, “Conservatives are consulting on a number of ways in which we can help homebuyers by reforming stamp duty to make it fairer. I would like the views of local residents across Greenwich on how we can deliver taxpayers better value for money, and give families and first time buyers a foot up the housing ladder.”