Monday, 23 April 2007

All this uncertainty is creating a property blight

I read that Michael McDowell has now promised to abolish Stamp Duty for First Time Buyers and bring down the Duty for other buyers by charging the higher rates only in respect of the portion of the price that exceeds the relevant limit.

For example - there's a Stamp Duty threshold limit at €381,000. Under current rules, anyone who buys for €380,000 pays the lower rate on the whole purchase price. Anyone who buys for €382,000 pays the higher rate on the WHOLE €382,000. Under the PD proposals only the €1,000 excess over the limit would be charged at the higher rate, with the remaining €381,000 payable at the lower. I use this example just to illustrate the principle - the thresholds may well be changed under a new administration also.

Michael has also pledged that if the PDs are returned to Government the Stamp Duty reforms will be brought in before the Summer Recess, rather than at some unspecified point in the future.

This is all very well. It seems Stamp Duty has become a major election issue for all parties. So it's beginning to look like there will be reforms no matter who gets elected.


Very few people are going to buy a house between now and the election. Who wants to be the poor sap who pays a big chunk of Stamp Duty, only to hear that a few days later it was abolished for his size of house?

Bertie - please call the election now and let's get it over with.