Labour Party leader Ed Miliband pledged on Monday to scrap the tax on house buying for first-time buyers in the U.K.’s expensive housing market.
Miliband said a Labour government elected on May 7 would abolish stamp duty – the tax paid on properties worth more than 125,000 pounds ($190,700) – on properties up to 300,000 pounds.
The policy is aimed at young voters struggling to get onto the property ladder due to historically high house prices. There were around 326,000 first-time buyers in 2014.
“There’s nothing more British than the dream of home ownership but for so many people in our country that dream is fading,” Miliband said in Teesside, northeast England.
Labour claim the move will save first-time buyers £5,000. The policy would cost £225 million but would only apply in the first three years of a Labour government.
It would be paid in part by increasing stamp duty for foreign property investors from outside the EU; taxing empty homes; and clamping down on tax avoidance by landlords, which Labour estimates costs more than £500 million a year.
“It’s the right thing to do to enable people to get back on the housing ladder and that’s what a Labour government will do,” Miliband said.
Alex Hilton, director of Generation Rent, which campaigns for private tenants, told the BBC: “More giveaways won’t fix the housing crisis – the government should spend any extra tax revenues from landlords on expanding supply.” (Anadolu Ajansi)