Get rid of Stamp Duty

According to the 1808 Coalition, formed by the NAEA and ARLA to address the issue of "modernising" Stamp Duty in the run-up to the Pre-Budget Report, Stamp Duty should be reformed because its structure unfairly distorts the UK's property market.

An overwhelming majority of the UK's estate agents (86%) feel that the tax is unfair. A further 81% believe that an announcement by the Government to reform Stamp Duty would have a very positive effect on the beleaguered property market.

The current Stamp Duty holiday for properties lower than £175,000 is due to expire but 91% of estate agents surveyed feel that it should be extended.

The tax yield from residential Stamp Duty has grown ten-fold since 1996/97. Between 1997 and 2008 receipts from Stamp Duty grew from £675 million per annum to £6.68 billion. The current system makes it difficult for the Government to project its own revenue streams due to the volatility of Stamp Duty returns during the boom/bust cycle.

The 1808 coalition is named after the year the duty was first introduced on UK property sales, and highlights its position as a "relic" of another age that fails to recognise the modern British property market.

Peter Bolton-King, chief executive of the NAEA, said: "Stamp Duty is a barrier to entry for many first time buyers and is also prohibitive for those looking for a step up the property ladder.

"Stamp Duty has failed to evolve and is an unwelcome burden for anyone seeking to buy a new home. As lenders demand even greater deposits, buyers are going to struggle to stump up the huge capital outlay that Stamp Duty demands. Now is the perfect time to seek change and produce a fairer tax that recognises the challenges that modern house buyers face."