Think tank calls for govt to scrap stamp duty on pensioners to free homes

A leading think tank has called on the government to abolish stamp duty for pensioners in a bid to encourage downsizing and to free up homes for younger families.

The new report from Policy Exchange revealed there are approximately 1.1 million homes in England with two or more spare bedrooms that are lived in by a single person aged over 65. According to the report, the lower stamp duty band, which sees a 2 per cent tax levied on properties priced between £125,000 and £250,000, should be abolished for “older people”.

However, the report does not specify an age.

The firm argued that the current system discourages older people outside of London and the South East from selling their property to purchase a smaller one.

Recently housing has become a key political issue, with much widespread talk of a “crisis”, particularly with Brexit looming. Chancellor Philip Hammond announced the scrapping of stamp duty for first-time buyers on homes up to £500,000 in 2017.

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