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ref date:12 Dec 1999 (ECON)
SNP member calls for new home tax

Kenny MacAskill, the SNP transport spokesman and independence hardliner said that people should NOT pay a tax when they buy a home (stamp duty) but rather pay some tax on the profits made when they sell a home.

He said "Why do we tax people when they buy a house, why do we not tax them on the profit they make on it? I don't know, I'm not a taxation expert, but it does seem bizarre that I will make a substantial killing when I sell my house having done nothing to merit it."

He also suggested introducing a much higher inheritance tax that will penalise those leaving more than 1 million pounds in their estates at death.

The latter idea seems reasonable, a graduated rate over 40% seems sensible, but taxing people with stamp duty or when they sell their homes is not very fair. After all, people work hard and often struggle to pay mortgages, that is how they earned their rights to the profits....