Liberal Democrats' promise on stamp duty

Lib Dems promise to help first-time buyers
Lib Dems promise to help first-time buyers

The Liberal Democrats have promised to raise the stamp duty threshold if they win the forthcoming general election.

In a bid to appeal to first-time buyers, the party's Treasury spokesman Dr Vince Cable said raising the threshold to £150,000 would lift over 400,000 home-buyers out of paying the tax.

The current threshold at which stamp duty is payable stands at £60,000 and was set a decade ago.

Dr Cable claimed the proposals would save the average first-time buyer more than £1,000.

"First-time buyers are being squeezed out of the housing market not only by higher house prices but also by being swept into the stamp duty net," said Dr Cable.

"By failing to uprate the stamp duty threshold Gordon Brown has hit first-time buyers and those on low incomes the hardest."

"By pledging to increase the threshold to £150,000, the Liberal Democrats will make it possible for many first time buyers to buy a property without facing this tax."

The Liberal Democrats will publish their "alternative Budget" on Monday.

Political commentators are suggesting that the Conservatives are also likely to announce a policy on stamp duty after Chancellor Gordon Brown's Budget statement on March 16.