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Stamp Duty.

Eddie Mair | 12:30 UK time, Thursday, 7 August 2008

Are you affected by the delay in hearing what Alistair Darling plans to do? We'd love to hear from you.

We wanted to hear from Alistair Darling himself. Robert Peston was ready to talk to him, then.... .

Robert will join us on PM tonight.


  • 1. At 1:13pm on 07 Aug 2008, mygloriousleader wrote:

    I think the price of stamps is dreadful...

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  • 2. At 1:19pm on 07 Aug 2008, AliceInSunderland wrote:

    There's a 'Free Stamp' in Cleveland, Ohio.

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  • 3. At 1:30pm on 07 Aug 2008, U10783173 wrote:

    Robert Peston is lot easier to listen to when you can't hear his voice. Having read his piece I have to say that it is a bit of a non-story.

    Peston is probably 99% right about the reason for the cancelled interview. And given his intention to raise a subject that would cause difficulties if it were denied, confirmed or ignored, the Treasury was 100% right to cancel.

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  • 4. At 1:30pm on 07 Aug 2008, mygloriousleader wrote:

    What's a free stamp?

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  • 5. At 1:52pm on 07 Aug 2008, thenicecatlady wrote:

    Darling was obviously doing his duty and having a petulant stamp becuase invisible Gordie hasn't made up his mind yet.

    But then, when does Gordie make up his mind? I'm sure the answer will come to him while he's doing his Pilates.

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  • 6. At 2:08pm on 07 Aug 2008, Electric Dragon wrote:

    Once again the Government's kite-flying has got them hoist by their own petard (hooray for mixed metaphors!) The Treasury might be right to cancel the interview but they should never have got themselves into this position in the first place.

    The only effect of deferring SD will be to make those people who have recently bought a house feel like suckers and those who are thinking about it delay it until Darling makes a pronouncement - which will exacerbate the problem. It's like the US 'stimulus package' of tax rebates, a short term gimmick for popularity gain with no real economic effect.

    Enough of this fiddling about at the edge. He should do something truly radical, and permanent. Like abolish it altogether, or double the threshold. Or only levy it (at different rates) on the amount above the thresholds: it is absurd that a house at £125,000 attracts no duty, but one at £125,001 attracts duty of £1,250.

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  • 7. At 2:12pm on 07 Aug 2008, mygloriousleader wrote:

    Is stamp duty the royal mails equivalent of national service?

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  • 8. At 2:34pm on 07 Aug 2008, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Horse (3):

    Sorry, but I disagree. This is a terrible way to behave and makes the government look amateur and woolly. What's wrong with answering the question with, "We're looking at the options, we'll let everyone know what we decode once we have enough information to make the right decision."

    As it is, it looks like government spokespeople can't intelligently respond to difficult questions so they're just going to do the equivalent of hiding behind the curtains with the lights off in the hope that the bailiffs will give up and go away.

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  • 9. At 2:36pm on 07 Aug 2008, DI_Wyman wrote:

    "but the chancellor feels the resonant subject isn't quite within the spirit of the interview he agreed"......
    i'll stamp my little foot and scweam and scweam and scweam until Gordy comes and takes me home for an ice cweam....

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  • 10. At 3:09pm on 07 Aug 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    On the bigger picture, a comparison with 1929

    From the BBC World Service

    Interesting times

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  • 11. At 3:12pm on 07 Aug 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    It seems Tinyurl fails the profanity filter!


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  • 12. At 3:28pm on 07 Aug 2008, U10783173 wrote:

    SSCat (8) - And if the question was answered as you suggest, what would happen? The questionner would go away and write about something else? I don't think so.

    No, Peston and others will opine, comment and invent various situations and possible outcomes and generally work up people's expectations. No, I'd keep behind the curtains and not add to the invented mania.

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  • 13. At 4:06pm on 07 Aug 2008, vainly_here wrote:

    ED (6) Totally agree with your last para. Been meaning to write to the chancellor about it for years.

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  • 14. At 4:29pm on 07 Aug 2008, Electric Dragon wrote:

    Horse @ 12 - but that the question is being asked in the first place is a failure of news management by the Treas. If they had only kept schtum then Darling could have had a nice little rabbit to pull out of his hat come Pre-Budget time. Now, having leaked that it's a possibility, they are caught between having to issue a non-denial and appearing to make policy on the hoof. It has to be a non-denial, because if they deny it now and then do it later they lay themselves open to charges of U-turns and dithering.

    "The ship of state is the only ship that leaks from the top."

    PS. how do I input pound signs? When I entered a £ it previewed ok but emerged as a question mark. When I tried an HTML entity code ( & pound ; ) it threw an error at me, saying it was invalid HTML.

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  • 15. At 4:43pm on 07 Aug 2008, Thunderbird wrote:

    Stamop duty is a very rare tax...

    It is totally unfair, no really.

    I cannot understand why the price bands apply to the total amount and not the difference

    Does anyone know

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  • 16. At 4:46pm on 07 Aug 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    "PS. how do I input pound signs?"
    You don't.

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  • 17. At 5:32pm on 07 Aug 2008, ErikZDundee wrote:

    A stamp that has done its duty deserves a holiday.

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  • 18. At 5:43pm on 07 Aug 2008, malcolmk25 wrote:

    Stamp duty for a tenner?

    If the cost of housing falls by the 30% recommended by the OECD, then the average purchase price will fall from £180,000 to £126,000. Since SD kicks in at £125,000.01, then it is only due on £1000 of the purchase or £10 at 1%.
    It is time to incentivise low cost housing by reducing the averege cost to between £100,000-125,000.

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  • 19. At 5:59pm on 07 Aug 2008, Shameonyou2 wrote:

    The stamp duty scare is clearly being manufactured by 'reporters' trying to emmulate their Northern Rock success.

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  • 20. At 6:05pm on 07 Aug 2008, Eskayee wrote:

    My first attempt at this...I think BBC radio interviewers should have a better understanding of how influential they are and take some care and responsibility...

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  • 21. At 7:57pm on 07 Aug 2008, sweetmrbean wrote:

    Stamp duty, solicitors costs, mortgage fees and searches all add up and if first time buyers are given any incentive to buy then it could only be a good thing for the housing market and the economy. Because it's a buyers market buyers tend to ask for reductions to cover for all these extra costs. I will not be buying although I had arranged for a mortgage but if the whole thing turns out to be just a rumour then it will have put me back 6 months in my plans and who knows prices may have fallen even more by then!

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  • 22. At 8:03pm on 07 Aug 2008, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    SSC @ 8, I thought that was what the bloke *did* say in the first place: 'I'm not ruling anything out at this point, but no decision has been made and none will be until I have looked at a lot of ideas' seemed to be the gist of the reply he gave when he was repeatedly asked 'Are you ruling this out?' and his answer wasn't accepted.

    He didn't rule out throwing Batman off Big Ben either, but nobody assumes he plans to do that. :-)

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  • 23. At 8:39pm on 07 Aug 2008, Sarah wrote:


    Missed the show as I was otherwise engaged listening to Test Match Special.I'm sure you'll forgive me as I was on Radio 4 longwave.
    However Aggers gave you a mention in regard to your final question regarding KP's views on stamp duty.He called it the strangest question he's ever been asked. It set off Geoff Boycott a treat who came over all socialist and political.Obviously,being TMS they shut him up.
    You could ask Geoffrey onto the show to get his views on the country's current economic woes.He could advise our embattled Chancellor on the way forward,guaranteeing an election victory for "New Labour" in 2 years time.After all,Geoffey does know everything.
    Finally,on the off chance this makes readers' views on Friday can you please remember I am a woman- you got it wrong last time when I aired my views on Formula One.However if you don't broadcast it,don't worry as I'll shall be on longwave anyway and will miss the whole thing!

    P.S KP doesn't worry about stamp duty.He's off to win a share of Stamford's prize pot in November..........

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  • 24. At 10:31pm on 07 Aug 2008, laptoplen wrote:

    If I was a seller I would pay the stamp duty so as to sell and send the bill to who ever started this rumour-I think The Sun started it all. Just imagine people aought up in all those chains!

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  • 25. At 10:45pm on 07 Aug 2008, BasilOman wrote:

    It's interesting to note that "The Association of Home Information Pack Providers (AHIPP) has called for the suspension of stamp duty on all house purchases" - The words Pot, Kettle and Black spring to mind.

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  • 26. At 08:36am on 08 Aug 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    malcolm25: I think your comment is wrong inasmuch as (unlike some taxes) stamp duty is paid upon the whole amount, not just the bit that tips over the top. It is one of this tax's flaws.

    If you buy at £124,999 you pay no tax, but just as soon as you tip over £125,000 you pay tax on the whole amount, not the amount over £125,000.

    This fact contributes to the skewing of house prices as buyers will always seek to get their purchase within the lowest band in their bid to avoid having to pay more tax.

    In the case of Inheritance Tax, by contrast, tax is paid on the amount over the threshold, currently set at £312,000. So, if somebody dies with an estate worth, let us say, £320,000, tax will be paid on the amount above the threshold, equivalent in this case to £8,000. IH is charged at 40% so, if my brain is sufficiently engaged, I calculate that the tax due on this estate would be £3,200.

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  • 27. At 09:47am on 08 Aug 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    mgl 4, A free stamp is what AIS is going to get in the head if she ever shows up in Cleveland.

    I remember back in the fifties (19) when Ohio introduced a sales tax and gave stamps when you bought something. I still have a couple. But they weren't free....

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  • 28. At 09:49am on 08 Aug 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    EI 16, Look, there goes a pound! That is the sign of a pound.

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  • 29. At 09:50am on 08 Aug 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    Eskayee 20, Don't worry, nobody pays attention to Eddie.

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  • 30. At 10:11am on 08 Aug 2008, AliceInSunderland wrote:

    Mr McNickle - One of the most controversial -- and I think, interesting -- pieces of public art in Cleveland is "Free Stamp" by Danish artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen. The 50-foot tall aluminum and steel replica of a hand stamp sits downtown at Willard Park on Lakeside Avenue, next to City Hall. So there!

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  • 31. At 12:31pm on 08 Aug 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Bring back Green Shield stamps, say I.

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  • 32. At 1:43pm on 08 Aug 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    AIS 30, Ain't been back in 20 years. Haven't seen the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or the two new stadiums. Even missed the mass nude art event by Spencer Tunick. I prefer the unique statue of The Thinker in front of the Art Museum with its feet blown off.

    BS If you have any, charities accept them.

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  • 33. At 6:24pm on 08 Aug 2008, malcolmk25 wrote:

    do you not have any thing better to do

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