Stamp duty boost for first-time home buyers

Young people trying to get on the property ladder were handed a pre-election boost worth up to £2,500 after the chancellor scrapped stamp duty on homes costing £250,000 or less for first-time buyers. The move will be funded by an increase to 5% in the duty on homes costing £1m or more, which will see buyers of these properties having to hand over a minimum of £50,000 in tax. The move was quickly dubbed by some as a ‘Robin Hood’ tax on the rich. The new £250,000 threshold, which took effect at midnight last night and will last for two years, means nine out of 10 people buying their first home will not be liable for the tax.