Scottish Parliament backs alternative to stamp duty

Parliament has unanimously backed plans designed to make it easier for first-time buyers to get on the housing market.

The Scottish Government said it would bring in a “more progressive system of taxation” than the charge paid by property buyers.

However, Finance Secretary John Swinney last night admitted the fees house buyers will pay under a new tax will not be revealed until September next year at the earliest.

Under stamp duty, a difference in property selling price of just £1 can lead to thousands of pounds in additional tax for buyers.

The Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (Scotland) Bill will introduce “a proportional progressive structure” including a zero rate.

Also, only the proportion of the price above the threshold will be liable for the higher tax.