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Stamp duty proposals: Sajid Javid refuses to rule out plans for tax to be passed onto sellers instead of buyers

Stephanie Cockroft

Sajid Javid has refused to rule out a major revamp to stamp duty which would see sellers pay the tax instead of buyers.

The Chancellor said any change, which would pass the charge onto those selling their property, would be designed to help first-time buyers get onto the property ladder.

Mr Javid said it was one of several options being looked at ahead of his first Budget later this year.

Asked about the proposal, Mr Javid told The Times: “I’m looking at various options. I’m a low-tax guy. I want to see simpler taxes.”

He has also hinted that higher earners could benefit from changes to the tax system, although he suggested that the lowest paid would be first in line for any cuts.

He added: "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."

He said the Treasury would also consider whether to make changes to the fiscal rules ahead of the Budget - but that he had not yet decided whether to hold it before October 31.

"When we have the budget, I will be thinking about whether we need to make any changes to the fiscal rules.

"It is obvious to me that when you've got some of the lowest rates on government debt this country has ever seen I wouldn't be doing my job if I wasn't thinking seriously about how do we use [that opportunity]."

Stamp duty is a purchase tax paid in England and Northern Ireland on properties worth more than £125,000.

It was abolished in 2017 for first-time buyers spending up to £300,000 on a house.

In June, Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined plans to raise the threshold for the higher rate of income tax from the current threshold of £50,000 to £80,000.