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Stamp Duty Offer – Needs Clarifying – First Time What ? Single, Joint or Ever/Downsizers ?

Labour Plans To Reduce Stamp Duty To Zero

Ed Miliband has announced plans to scrap stamp duty on homes worth up to £300,000 for first-time buyers.

Cutting stamp duty to zero would benefit nine out of 10 people buying their first home and could save up to £5,000, the Labour leader said.

The plan would cost £225m a year, which the party says would be found through a series of tax-related measures on landlords and wealthy property investors.

Speaking in Stockton, Mr Miliband said:   “There’s nothing more British than the dream of home-ownership, starting out in a place of your own.

“But for so many young people today that dream is fading with more people than ever renting when they want to buy, new properties being snapped up before local people get a look-in, young families wondering if this country will ever work for them.

“That is the condition of Britain today, a modern housing crisis which only a Labour government will tackle.”

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The Labour leader, whose popularity has shown a significant increase in recent polls, told the audience there were 10 days to go until the “tightest election in a generation” and 10 days until “we have the chance to get rid of David Cameron”.

And he said he was still ready to debate the Conservative leader in a head-to-head televised debate.

Mr Miliband was asked by seven-year-old Liam in the audience whether he thought Mr Cameron had been “chicken” for not debating him.

He replied: “The offer’s still on the table.”

Liam also asked the Labour leader what he wanted to be when he had been seven, to which he replied: “A bus conductor.”

Housing has been one of the key battlegrounds of the election campaign with the Conservatives refreshing the Thatcherite right-to-buy policy in an attempt to win over voters struggling to enter the property market.

Labour has accused the Tories of presiding over the lowest levels of housebuilding in peacetime since the 1920s, with home ownership at its lowest level in 30 years.

Average house prices have risen to eight times the average wage and more than one third of central London properties have been snapped up by overseas buyers, the party said.

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Under the plans, Labour will change planning laws to introduce a “first call” policy that would give first-time buyers who have lived in an area for more than three years priority on up to half of local new homes.

It will also introduce a “local first” policy that would stop properties being advertised overseas before they have been in the UK.

Chancellor George Osborne allowed a two-year holiday on stamp duty – which raised the threshold for first-time buyers to £250,000 – to expire in March 2012, with a New Buy Guarantee introduced in its place.

Buyers currently pay nothing on the first £125,000 of a home’s value and are then charged on a sliding scale, starting with 2% on the next £125,000 and 5% on the following £675,000

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