Chelmsford supports ‘Stamp out Stamp Duty’
Aug 2013 28

TPA supporters turned out on a stormy day in the heart of Essex in the county town of Chelmsford to tell the local residents about our ‘Stamp out Stamp duty’ campaign. Setting our stall beneath the grand statue of celebrated local lawyer, Sir Nicholas Tindal, in Tindal Square, we spoke to local people visiting nearby estate agents.

‘Buying a house is already far too costly for many hard-working people,’ says Chris Manby, Essex TPA coordinator, ‘and Stamp Duty is just another horrible sting in the tail. It makes buying a home even more expensive, and puts home ownership further out of reach for young people and families. It should be abolished.’ Continue Reading

New research exposes the £2 billion “holiday tax”
Aug 2013 27
As millions of British families return from their holidays, our new research reveals just how much tax they have to pay in order to enjoy a well-earned break. Thanks to the highest taxes on flights in the world and other taxes on common holiday purchases, the tax burden on holidays abroad was £2 billion in 2012. That is a £500 million increase from the last TPA estimate in 2008. A family of four travelling to Florida are likely to have paid around £350 of tax on their flights and holiday purchases in the UK.

Key Facts:

  • In 2012 the estimated total tax bill for holidays abroad was over £2 billion. That is£56 for each of the holidays abroad taken
  • family of six travelling to Spain will have faced an average tax bill of £187 on their flights and holiday purchases in the UK
  • family of four travelling to Florida will have faced an average tax bill of £350on their flights and holiday purchases in the UK, an increase of £150 since 2008
  • couple travelling to Australia will have faced an average tax bill of £254 on their flights and holiday purchases in the UK

Matthew Sinclair, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

“People work hard all year to make ends meet, despite high taxes and rising prices. They look forward to a holiday as a blessed relief but sadly the tax man is waiting even when they try to take a well-earned break. Britain’s exceptionally high taxes on flights in particular make holidays much more expensive, as well as making it harder for Britain to compete as a destination for tourists and business investment. The Government should cut Air Passenger Duty and make flying more affordable.”

Well over a third of potential home buyers will pay over £7,500 in Stamp Duty by 2018
Aug 2013 23

Our latest research reveals that out of every 5 homes sold in 2012-13 will be subject to Stamp Duty within five years and that 40 per cent of homes sold will be subject to Stamp Duty of 3 per cent or more, leaving buyers with a bill of at least £7,500.

Property price forecasts by Savills Research imply a huge increase in the number of homes which will be subject to punitive rates of Stamp Duty. The forecast price rises will lead to the liability of nearly 100,000 homes which incurred 1 per cent Stamp Duty in 2012-13 more than tripling as they become subject to the 3 per cent rate of Stamp Duty.

The threat of much higher Stamp Duty rates will increase the pressure for the Chancellor to cut this unfair, double tax as called for by the TaxPayers’ Alliance Stamp Out Stamp Duty campaign.

Key Facts:

  • By 2017-18, four in every five homes sold will be subject to Stamp Duty
  • In five years, two in every five properties sold will be subject to Stamp Duty at 3 per cent or more, with bills of at least £7,500 each
  • Nearly a third of all homes where Stamp Duty of 1 per cent was paid in 2012-13 will be subject to the 3 per cent rate by 2017-18. The average bill for those properties will rise from £2,319 in 2012-13 to £8,445 by 2017-18
  • In five years, 220,593 of the 725,602 homes which were sold in 2012-13 will be subject to a higher rate of Stamp Duty
  • 99 per cent of homes in London will be liable for Stamp Duty in five years and five out of six homes will be subject to the 3 per cent rate
  • Three in five homes sold in the North West will be liable for Stamp Duty in 2017-18
  • The fastest increase in the number of homes liable for Stamp Duty will be in the East Midlands where the number of properties subject to Stamp Duty will rise from 50 per cent to 71 per cent by 2017-18
  • Three in five homes in the South East will be subject to Stamp Duty at the 3 per cent rate or higher by 2017-18
  • Over half of all homes in every region of England and Wales will be subject to Stamp Duty by 2017-18, including in 306 out of 347 local authority areas

Matthew Sinclair, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

“As the property market recovers, more and more people will be sucked into paying punitive rates of Stamp Duty and it will be more expensive to move than ever. High Stamp Duty rates stop young people buying a home and starting a family, discourage elderly people from downsizing and make it harder to move to a new place for a new job. The Government urgently need to cut Stamp Duty and ease the burden before the situation gets even worse.”

Islington Council makes expensive mess of dog poop squad
Aug 2013 22

Islington Council has certainly made a financial mess of its efforts to tackle dog fouling. It has disbanded its controversial ‘dog squad’ – the biggest in the country, it seems – after having spent some £240,000 in a three month period from May of last year. It had deployed 22 officers to patrol the borough night and day and issue fines to people caught letting their dogs foul the pavements.

The figure is eye-watering enough on its own, especially when you consider that it was spent in such a short period, but begins to look positively scandalous when it becomes clear, as has been reported, that the number of fines issued in 2012/13, when the dog squad was operational, is actually lower than the number issued the previous year. The actual number of fines issued by the Council for dog fouling by the ‘dog squad’ in 2102/13 was 36—ten fewer than in 2011/12! Continue Reading

Council red tape threatens 100 jobs in Neath
Aug 2013 21

Media Wales recently highlighted the plight of 100 workers in one of Wales last major drift mines. The Unity Mine at Heol Wenallt, Cwmgwrach in Neath has in recent years been affected by the decline of the global price of coal, however any chance of salvation has been crushed by Neath Port Talbot County Council.

It has been claimed that the council has been stood idol behind red tape whilst Peter Hain, the MP for the area, has apparently been working tirelessly to save the mine. Mr Hain stated,

 “I have been told that men were being laid off because of delays from Neath Port Talbot County Council in delivering planning consents necessary to give confidence for new investment.
The jobs are paid well above the local average and are vital for local communities.”

These job losses are in addition to the 300 jobs lost at a nearby mine earlier this year, which has since re-opened with a faction of the staff.  The area also suffered a major jobs blow in 2009 when car parts plant TRW, formerly Cam Gears, announced it was closing.

Job losses in the area could have been limited with more effort from local representatives to cut the bureaucracy standing in the way of business. The Welsh Government have apparently been working to promote Welsh business and Welsh opportunity for over a decade with no benefit for the people of Neath Port Talbot. This is what happens when we put politicians in charge of picking winners and losers in business with other people’s’ money.

Rather than the local economy benefiting from resilient business and well-paid jobs we now have another 100 families worried about their future thanks to the local authority blundering.

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