So Gideon finally gave us his Autumn Statement today even though we are in winter, all those numbers must have gone to his head. He announced that the UK government were going to steal the SNP’s clothes and change the Stamp Duty Land Tax to something close to John Swinney’s system which is due to come into force next April. This change is to be effective almost immediately. The Tories were gloating on social media.
I’ll bet that they’re chuffed to bits about that, but is it true?
Not exactly, you wouldn’t expect anything else from the Tories though would you. As can be seen from the graph above the new Scottish system would produce a lower amount of stamp duty until the home sold for £254000. From that point on the new Scottish system will take a larger tax take than the new rUK system.
For seriously expensive properties the picture looks very grim.
But, as can be seen from the bigger picture the new rUK system closely tracks the new Scottish system and both are way above the old system. So it is quite odd that you don’t hear rich folks squealing about the huge extra chunk that’s going to be taken when they buy a new estate in England yet they squealed like fat little piggies when John Swinney announced the change in Scotland. The Tories themselves called it an “assault on aspiration” in this piece. I wonder if they will say the same for Gideon’s new regime?
Anyway back to the Tory gloat, are Scots worse off now? As I mentioned earlier the new Scots system has a lower tax take until the £254000 point where parity is reached with the new rUK system. According to the Registers of Scotland 10 year report the average house price in Scotland is £157476, so most buyers will still be better off. Even in the most expensive city, Edinburgh, the average house price is £216483 so the argument that people will be unfairly penalised in more expensive areas doesn’t hold water. Of course some people will pay more, but that is the point of a progressive tax isn’t it? If you want to buy a Scottish estate so that you and your chums can participate in blood sports then you’re going to have to pay through the nose. Oh well.