New chancellor Sajid Javid considers change to stamp duty

Peter Stubley

New chancellor Sajid Javid has said he is considering proposals to make house sellers pay stamp duty instead of buyers.

The change is designed to help people get on to the property ladder and buy bigger homes for their families.

However, the former banker indicated it was one of several options being looked at ahead of his first budget later this year.

In an interview with The Times, he described himself as “a low tax guy” but claimed that the lowest paid would be first in line for any cuts.

Asked about taxes for higher earners, he said: “Wait and see for the Budget.”

During the Tory leadership campaign, Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged a major tax cut for three million higher earners which would cost £9.6bn a year.

However, he appeared to back away from the contentious plans to increase the 40 per cent rate to £80,000 after coming under pressure from rival Jeremy Hunt during a TV debate.

Mr Javid, who also proposed tax cuts during his campaign, said: “It wouldn’t be any surprise that I think taxes should be efficient. We want to set them at a rate where we are trying to maximise revenue, and that doesn’t always mean that you have the highest tax rate possible. Generally I want to see lower taxes, but at a level that is going to pay for the public services.”

The chancellor said he was still deciding whether or not to announce his budget plans before the Brexit deadline of 31 October.

“I’m weighing up the options. But when we have the budget, I will be thinking about whether we need to make any changes to the fiscal rules,” he said.

Mr Javid claimed that the Treasury was “100 per cent” behind Mr Johnson’s approach to Brexit.

“We want a deal, but to get a deal, the backstop’s got to go,” he said. ”That’s what we want, that’s what we will do everything that we can to support. But if we don’t get that, we can’t get a deal through our parliament, and we will leave with no-deal.”