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Abolish Stamp Duty to free up housing market, say RICS members

Poll of members found that 20% want Stamp Duty radically overhauled or abolished and Council Tax instead used to fill government coffers.

Nigel Lewis

stamp duty

The gloves are off at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) which says its member want a radical shake-up of the taxation system.

This includes abolishing Stamp Duty altogether or changing it significantly to enable ‘thousands’ more first time buyers to get onto the property ladder.

The venerable trade association also says its members believe the general taxation system should be changed to encourage more downsizers to sell their home.

Just under a fifth of its members also believe that instead of Stamp Duty, council tax should be used to “shift the burden away from the transactional phase and onto occupation, freeing up funds in the buying process”.


RICS says it is frustrated that its ongoing recommendations to government to reform taxation to encourage the more efficient distribution of housing stock has so far fallen on deaf ears, even though it would benefit the entire property buying chain.

stamp duty“It is not surprising that our professionals feel that residential property taxation is out of kilter,” says Abdul Choudhury, RICS’ Policy Manager (left).

“If we consider tax in terms of how they disincentivise certain behaviours, SDLT makes purchasing, moving and making more effective use of stock costly at a time when we need all these things. Council taxes, on the other hand are woefully out of date and are highly politicised.”

“We would therefore urge the Government to undertake a full-scale review of the SDLT system – starting with what it hopes to achieve from this tax in terms of revenue generation, market fluidity or another objective.”

September 19, 2018

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