Scotland’s finance minister says George Osborne has copied Scotland’s stamp duty reforms

3rd December 2014

Scotland’s finance minister and deputy first minister John Swinney has claimed UK Chancellor George Osborne has copied his stamp duty reforms from the SNP Government.

Swinney says ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’ with the Scottish Government pledging to reform the UK Stamp Duty Land Tax and replace it with a Land and Buildings Transaction Tax, coming into force in April 2015.

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However, Mr Swinney says Scottish Government plans will remove tax from 5,000 purchases between £125,000 and £135,000 and ensure that over 80% of house purchasers in Scotland are better off than under the new UK regime.

He said: “Firstly, I am delighted to see on the first occasion I’ve had to design a tax system for Scotland, the UK Government copies it instantaneously and applies it across the UK – imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery. That said, under the original Scottish Government proposal, over 80% of home buyers in Scotland will be better-off under our Land and Buildings Transaction Tax: a system that has been designed for Scottish circumstances not London house prices.

“Under our proposals no tax will be paid on any property purchase up to £135,000 taking 5000 properties our of taxation. The Chancellor has had years – and ample opportunity – to redesign the old, outdated stamp duty system which caused unfair tax hikes and distorted the market. However, the chancellor has waited to be guided by Scotland and is now following our lead. Scotland’s proposals to reform stamp duty have brought reform to the whole of the UK system and we will ensure that taxation in Scotland is proportionate to the ability to pay.”

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