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East Midlands sees 29% rise in Stamp Duty bill as Chancellor urged to scrap tax

East Midlands homeowners saw the biggest rise in their regional Stamp Duty bill last year, with a 29% increase in the 2014 to 2015 tax year, prompting calls for the new Chancellor to abolish the property charge.

Research from The TaxPayers’ Alliance revealed the region, which received a bill of £391m up from £304m in the previous tax year, outpaced the UK average increase in Stamp Duty of 16%.

After the East Midlands came the North West with a rise of 26.9% taking its bill to £553m and the east of England which saw an increase of 26.6% leading to a bill of £994m.

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance wants Chancellor Philip Hammond to immediately cut Stamp Duty in half with a view to abolishing it entirely. He also wants to see politicians ease the planning rules so that the UK can start building the number of homes it needs.

Despite seeing the smallest change in its Stamp Duty bill year-on-year, a rise of 9%, London racked up the highest cost at £4.3bn.

Isaby added: “We often hear about the impact of high property taxes on the overheated London housing market, but the truth is that they are a massive burden in every region of the UK. High rates of Stamp Duty, business rates and council tax are a significant barrier to getting on the housing ladder or growing a business – and this is exacerbated by restrictive planning policies which mean firms can’t expand and we are building nowhere near enough homes.”

Scotland saw the greatest increase in its total property tax burden last year with a 4.6% rise in 2015, compared to the previous year from £5.3bn to £5.5bn. This includes council tax, business rates and Stamp Duty.

This puts Scotland with the east of England and the south west for areas with the highest overall property tax burden, representing 4% of their regional economies.

Out of the 30 countries in the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), the UK has the highest property taxes as a proportion of GDP, standing at 4.1%.

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