Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid has denied claims that he is to move the responsibility for paying stamp duty from the buyer to the seller, throwing the government’s planned reform of the duty into confusion.
His tweet followed an interview with The Times on Saturday in which it was claimed that he supported the idea, which was originally mooted by Boris Johnson during his premiership campaign, but then denied it.
“More speculation about stamp duty this morning. To be clear, I never said to the Times I was planning to put it on sellers, and I wouldn’t support that. I know from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government that we need bold measures on housing – but this isn’t one of them,” his tweet said.
During The Times interview, when pressed about Boris Johnson’s plans for stamp duty, he said: “I’m looking at various options. I’m a low-tax guy. I want to see simpler taxes.”
Following the article, social media was awash with almost universal criticism of the measure.
Kill the market
Several high profile politicians and property industry representatives who moved to warn that such a proposal would ‘kill’ the market during the run up to Javid’s first budget speech as vendors and buyers stalled their plans to see ‘what happens next’.
This included Labour peer Lord Adonis, Marc von Grundherr, of Benham & Reeves and Henry Pryor, who addressed Javid directly.
“Either announce that you are changing stamp duty or announced that you are not but please don’t announce that you are thinking about whether you might,” he said.