The tax against mobility?
There are of course many taxes which many people generally feel are unfair. Inheritance Tax is probably the prime example. After all why should our death be taxed, when we have paid income tax all our lives?
Another tax which seems wrong is the Stamp Duty Land Tax, or SDLT. At its most simplest, it’s a tax on moving home. Which reduces the population’s mobility. Surely not very good for the country’s productivity?
A great many house purchases are made by people who have a need to move for work, perhaps a promotion, or redundancy, so why should that need to relocate be taxed? Surely a mobile population and workforce is essential for a prosperous economy? At present SDLT stands in the way of people needing to take up a new career in another part of the country, and also makes life difficult for those who have experienced a change in personal circumstances too – perhaps needing to move to be nearer family or care.
There is much talk at present about how ‘Brexit’ may or may not affect our movement around Europe, but Stamp Duty Land Tax surely discourages movement within our own country already!
Clearly, there would need serious thought about how to replace the lost revenue and I don’t pretend to have all the answers on that score. Suffice to say, at a time of great uncertainty in the housing market, SDLT should certainly be one of the areas up for debate.