The 25 prominent voices who support abolishing stamp duty

The TaxPayers’ Alliance has long campaigned to scrap stamp duty, a strong contender for the worst single tax in our tax system. We launched the Stamp Out Stamp Duty campaign in 2013 with three heavy-hitting reports and street stalls across the country.

But we haven’t been alone. A broad coalition of think tanks, politicians, newspapers, campaigners and journalists have publically called for stamp duty to be abolished, not just cut or tweaked. Below is a list of prominent organisations and individuals from across the spectrum who have called for stamp duty to go.

Please do get in touch (with a link) if you know a group or person who should added to this list.

Think tanks and campaign groups

Adam Smith Institute (ASI) - LINK

Almost any way of clawing back the money will do less damage than stamp duty does: it’s worse than council tax, income tax, VAT, and even corporation tax. Caution is a virtue—but complacency is not—stamp duty has had its day and should be consigned to the dustbin of history!

Centre Forum - LINK

Despite the consensus that taxes on immovable property are the least economically damaging, our tax system favours housing over nearly all else, and our existing property taxes – council tax, stamp duty and business rates – are deeply flawed.

Grattan Institute - LINK

Stamp duties are among the most inefficient and inequitable taxes available to states, and their revenues are inherently volatile. Although abolishing stamp duties is not the focus of this report, shifting from stamp duty to a broad-based property tax would provide a more stable tax base for states, spread the tax burden more fairly, and add up to $9 billion annually to GDP.

Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) - LINK

…stamp duty should be abolished. It is a pernicious tax which clogs up the market, stopping people from moving when they want or need to, such as for a new job or to downsize

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) - LINK

SDLT should simply be abolished and the revenue made up elsewhere

Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) - LINK

…many economists argue that a property transaction tax has no sound economic basis. It is essentially a charge on moving house, which may reduce people’s ability to move for work or encourage people to live in homes that are too large (or too small) for them.

National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) - LINK

At present our taxation of housing is possibly the worst of all worlds. We tax the purchase of houses by stamp duty, which limits the efficient allocation of housing and labour mobility.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) - LINK

…stamp duty should be removed and replaced with a property tax based on the value on the house

TaxPayers’ Alliance - LINK

… scrap this relic of a tax completely.

Editorials

Economist - LINK

Abolishing or replacing stamp duty would help more young families live in decent homes.

Times - LINK

The chancellor’s reform of stamp duty has intensified Britain’s housing shortage and distorted the market. It would be better to abolish it.

Daily Telegraph - LINK

It should be cut significantly for everyone, or abolished.

Journalists

Tim Harford, Financial Times columnist - LINK

[The Chancellor] should scrap stamp duty on property: even if you gave a roomful of special advisers all year to try, they would be hard-pressed to invent a clumsier and more foolish tax.

Phillip Inman, Observer economics editor - LINK

No more capital gains tax or stamp duty on property sales.

Sir Simon Jenkins, author and Guardian and Evening Standard columnist - LINK

If Javid really cared about London’s urban millennials [...] He would end stamp duty on transactions, and raise property taxes instead.

Owen Jones, Guardian columnist - LINK

I actually just don’t like stamp duty as a tax, I’d get rid of it.

Ian King, Sky News business presenter and Times columnist- LINK

Stamp duty is rotten and inefficient (…) So, ideally, stamp duty land tax should go.

Oliver Kamm, Times columnist - LINK

A rational policy would focus, instead, on increasing supply, abolishing stamp duty (which deters labour mobility) and reducing the tax privileges of owner-occupation.

Russell Lynch, Evening Standard deputy city editor - LINK

There’s something that sets your teeth on edge about stamp duty.

Politicians

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester - LINK

…an annual tax on the market rental value of land, would allow for the abolition of stamp duty – a tax on the aspirations of young people to put down roots and get on in life.

Kitty Ussher, former Labour MP and economic secretary to the treasury - LINK

The highlights are to abolish stamp duty [...] isn’t it exactly the type of thing that a Labour party in opposition should be debating?

Others

Deloitte Access Economics for the Property Council of Australia - LINK

Stamp duties on conveyances are among the least efficient taxes collected by Australian governments, with additional costs in terms of equity and revenue certainty…By removing stamp duties and replacing them with more efficient taxes the gains to Australia are potentially large.

London School of Economics for the Family Building Society - LINK

Perhaps the greatest impediment to a more dynamic, liquid housing market is the glue known as Stamp Duty Land Tax. Stamp duty is suffocating the market…One answer would be for the government to cut some people a break – downsizers, family formers or job movers. Better still the government could cut rates for all buyers—or even do away with the tax entirely.

Malcolm Bacchus, deputy president, London Society of Chartered Accountants - LINK

… ill-judged, out-of-date and should be abolished.

Simon French, chief economist, Panmure Gordon & Co - LINK

Stamp duty land tax on residential property should be scrapped