During the Autumn Statement, chancellor George Osborne announced that stamp duty would be cut for 98% of homebuyers. Whilst householders are likely to welcome the move, the UK Green Building Council (UK GBC) has labelled it as a “missed opportunity” to encourage energy efficiency.
Prior to the announcement stamp duty was not paid if a property was being purchased for less than £125,000, after this threshold there were five bands that paid between 1% and 7%. If a house fell into a band then the rate was not just applied to the payment above £125,000. This has changed to act like income tax, so householders will only pay stamp duty on the price of the house above £125,000.
The move has generally be welcomed by homeowners and those operating in the housing market. However, the UK GBC argue that the chancellor could have promoted energy efficiency and tackled the long term energy crisis by linking stamp duty to how efficient a house is.
John Alker, director of policy and communications at the UK GBC, commented, “For years we’ve been told by the Treasury that stamp duty cannot be possibly touched. But today’s changes blow a hole in the theory.
“This represents the mother of all missed opportunities, to link stamp duty payments to the energy performance of the property – incentivising householders to take action, and firmly establishing energy efficiency within the house buying and selling market.”
He added that whilst many households will welcome the changes, linking stamp duty to energy efficiency could have helped tackle long-term household energy bills.
Photo: DAVID HOLT via Flickr