Chancellor Sajid Javid has said he has no plans to make house sellers rather than buyers pay stamp duty tax.
“I wouldn’t support that,” the chancellor said in a tweet on Sunday.
His comments came after the Times reported on Saturday that Mr Javid was considering the idea, to save first-time buyers from paying the tax.
“I know from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government that we need bold measures on housing – but this isn’t one of them,” Mr Javid said.
More speculation about stamp duty this morning. To be clear, I never said to @thetimes I was planning to put it on sellers, and I wouldn’t support that. I know from @mhclg that we need bold measures on housing – but this isn’t one of them. https://t.co/9OVk3XiqMd
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) August 18, 2019
Stamp duty – a purchase tax paid in England and Northern Ireland on properties worth more than £125,000 – was abolished in 2017 for first-time buyers spending up to £300,000 on a house.
Forcing home sellers rather than buyers to pay the stamp duty tax would have made house purchases cheaper for those buying their first home or people trying to upgrade to larger homes, but could have made owners of larger homes reluctant to downsize.
The latest housing figures suggest that both house prices and sales are losing momentum amid Brexit uncertainty.
Key aspects of the housing market were “pretty much flatlining”, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said earlier this month.
In the interview with the Times, Mr Javid refused to give details of his plans to reform the tax system, instead saying “wait and see for the Budget” which is due to take place in the autumn.
Mr Javid said he had not yet decided whether to hold the Budget before 31 October, the date the UK is expected to leave the EU.