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TPA Criticizes 'Punitive' UK Property Taxes

by Amanda Banks,, London

09 August 2016

The TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) has called for stamp duty to be halved immediately, after it published research that showed that the property tax burden rose by 2.8 percent in 2014-15.

In "Property taxes in the UK and regions," the TPA said that the property tax burden increased from GBP65bn in 2013-14 to GBP66.8bn in 2014-15. Stamp duty accounted for GBP1.5bn of the GBP1.8bn rise. It added that the UK had the heaviest property tax burden in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2014, at 4.1 percent of GDP, followed by France (3.9 percent), Belgium (3.5 percent), and Canada (3.1 percent).

The TPA found that the regions with the highest property tax burden in 2014-15 were the south west of England, the east of England, and Scotland, each at four percent of the national economy. The lowest burden was in Northern Ireland, at three percent. The fastest increase in the property tax burden was in Scotland, where it rose by 4.6 percent from GBP5.3bn to GBP5.5bn. In Northern Ireland, the burden fell by 0.8 percent.

Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TPA, commented: "We often hear about the impact of high property taxes on the overheated London housing market, but the truth is that they are a massive burden in every region of the UK. High rates of stamp duty, business rates, and council tax are a significant barrier to getting on the housing ladder or growing a business – and this is exacerbated by restrictive planning policies which mean firms can't expand and we are building nowhere near enough homes."

Isaby recommended that the new Chancellor, Philip Hammond, immediately cut stamp duty in half, with a view to abolishing it entirely. He also urged politicians to ease planning laws.

TAGS: tax | business | Belgium | property tax | law | United Kingdom | tax rates | stamp duty | Canada | France | tax reform | trade association | trade | Tax | Scotland

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