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.'
The sum of money you have to write a cheque for, say £7,500 on a £250,00 house, could buy a car for a family.
In Chelmsford, more than a third of people buying a flat or house, pay the 3% rate or more.
'It's the bank of mum and dad that tends to pay for stamp duty now for the first-time buyers,' said Andy Wren at Location Chelmsford. 'It's another burden for them.' Other estate agents agreed that the local housing market has taken off again but that means more and more buyers fall into the 3% stamp duty bracket.
'The government's policies are getting people buying again,' said Connells, 'so they're tending to ignore the stamp duty burden but it's till there--still has to be paid and take takes money out of the economy for other things associated with house buying.' 'It's dead money,' said another estate agent. 'It's hard enough to save up money for a deposit, let alone pay stamp duty.'