In the Herald yesterday we soon see that the headline really only applies to that one much-loved minority group, estate agents and to those who can :

Estate Agents in Scotland have expressed their disappointment after the Scottish Government confirmed it has no plans cut duty on purchasing a home. Reports suggest stamp duty rates in England are to be temporarily revised in the Autumn budget in order to help the property market recover from the current crisis.

BBC Business tell us:

The chancellor has announced a temporary holiday on stamp duty on the first £500,000 of all property sales in England and Northern Ireland. The tax threshold has been temporarily raised until next March to boost the property market and help buyers struggling because of the coronavirus crisis. The changes have come in with immediate effect.

Once more, I may be splashing around in a topic where I’m less than expert, readers will tell me, but the Scottish Government’s ‘failure’ to follow the chancellor is another example of their commitment to progressive taxation.

See this from the Guardian in 2013:

Abolishing stamp duty in isolation wouldn’t make houses any more affordable; the immediate impact would be just to push up house prices, widening even further the gap between the haves and the have-nots in the property market. And it would be hugely regressive – more than two-thirds of the over £3 trillion (twice the UK’s annual GDP) in property wealth belongs to the richest 30%. Worse still, this giveaway to relatively well-off homeowners would punch a huge hole in the government’s already strained finances. So more spending cuts would be required, or alternatively tax increases on other things, like income or consumption. These taxes would hit the less well-off much harder than stamp duty does. Moreover, such taxes – which can damage work incentives or discourage productive economic activity – are far more economically damaging than taxes on property or land. Houses don’t work less hard if they’re taxed more, or threaten to relocate to New York or Geneva. The UK would be better off – we’d be a more productive as well as a fairer society – with a higher tax burden on land and property, not a lower one.

No doubt the Scottish Tories will feed our media with lies about overtaxed Scots, based on this, and we won’t hear the truth. Here it is for a reminder:

Roughly speaking, people in Scotland pay less income tax than the rest of the UK on earnings below £27,000 a year, and more income tax on earnings above that. The differences are relatively marginal though.