09 September 2007

Renovation Ethics & Finances

"We're saying that we should offer very generous stamp duty reductions, rebates, if your home is passed on in the best possible condition. And I think if you do that it becomes less of an ethical decision and more of an investment, a financial decision...

The principle focus is on energy and we can achieve massive reductions with very little investment. And from the home owner's point of view that does lead pretty quickly to energy savings, bill savings, but in order to make that happen, because most people aren't, you know, the savings aren't so big that it's going to drive people to make these changes unless they're driven by ethical concerns which is why you need to have this stamp duty rebate."
Zac GoldsmithNow, maybe I'm missing something in what Zac Goldsmith said on The Andrew Marr Show about the Quality of Life Policy Group's proposals — which won't actually be published until Thursday, despite the widespread coverage in today's papers — but I can't see how it is either an ethical or a financial decision for the Government to offer me the carrot of being able to pay less stamp duty on my property when I sell it, given that it is not me that will be paying stamp duty on my property, but whoever buys the house from me.

Now, cuts in council tax and VAT for those who make "green" domestic renovations, as reported elsewhere by the BBC, sounds like more of an incentive. But can anyone help explain the thinking behind the stamp duty proposal?