Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland pays lowest level of stamp duty in the UK

By Andrew Woodcock

Only £51m was paid in stamp duty in Northern Ireland in 2014/15 - a mere fraction of even the second lowest UK region, new figures reveal.

However, the TaxPayers' Alliance said that "punitive" property taxes - including stamp duty, council tax and business rates - were a "massive burden" on all parts of the UK, and not just on London and the South East as is sometimes assumed.

The think tank is urging Chancellor Philip Hammond to cut stamp duty by half, after releasing research showing Britain has the highest property taxes in the developed world.

The figures released by the group showed that more than half (59%) of the £10.9bn stamp duty on property sales in 2014/15 was paid in London (£4.3bn) and in the South East (£2.1bn).

By contrast, just £51m was paid in stamp duty in Northern Ireland, £142m in the North East and £172m in Wales.

The total £66.8bn property tax bill in 2014/15 was made up of £28.1bn in business rates, £27.8bn in council tax (or rates in Northern Ireland) and £10.9bn in stamp duty, said the TPA in a report.

The TPA said rates of stamp duty should be immediately halved, with a view to eventually scrapping the tax, which is charged at 2% on sales of properties worth over £125,000, with higher rates of 5% for amounts over £250,000, 10% for amounts over £925,000 and 12% over £1.5m.

Chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: "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."

Belfast Telegraph


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