Press Release: Immediate
Chancellor must raise two major UK tax thresholds
say leading Scotland solicitors Frazer Coogans
Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown should raise two major UK tax thresholds in his Budget on Wednesday (16 March).
So says Norman Geddes, senior director at leading Scottish solicitors Frazer Coogans.
Inheritance Tax and Stamp Duty on house purchases were both originally designed to tax the rich, but now rising house prices mean that people on quite modest incomes are being drawn into the net.
· A recent report calculated that 81% (38) of the 47 towns surveyed in Scotland were unaffordable for first-time buyers in 2004.
· In Scotland the average deposit a first-time buyer had to fork out was a massive £14,568 in 2004. This represented 18% of the property’s value, compared to 16% (£11,271) in 2003.
· Another adverse effect of rising house prices is that first-time buyers are being forced to delay further and further the purchase of their first home. The average age of a FTB in Scotland is now 37. This compares with 34 in 1999.
And the Government is only managing to make a bad situation worse.The average first-time housebuyer in Scotland is now being forced to fork out over £820 in stamp duty, equivalent to around 6% of their deposit, or more than two weeks of their gross annual income.
ONLY TWO YEARS AGO THE AVERAGE FIRST-TIME BUYER IN SCOTLAND DID NOT HAVE TO PAY ANY STAMP DUTY AT ALL.
More and more FTBs are falling into the stamp duty net because the Government has refused to index-link the £60,000 threshold. The threshold has remained unchanged since 1993.
A rise in the threshold is now long overdue.
The Chancellor should also raise the nil rate tax band for inheritance tax above the current threshold of £263,000 in line with house price inflation in recent years.
And the £3,000 annual exemption on inheritance tax has been the same since 1981 – that is also ripe for review.
ABOUT FRAZER COOGANS SOLICITORS
Ayrshire solicitors Frazer Coogans have expanded rapidly from small beginnings in the 1980s to offer a friendly and personal service to all clients from their modern premises in Ayr town centre.
From their Ayr base, Norman Geddes, Lauren Fowler and associate Angus Logan – all experienced solicitors - along with their professional and dedicated staff, provide a comprehensive suite of legal services to Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland and the UK, with particular expertise in accident claims, personal injury damages, property conveyancing, divorce and family law, wills, estates and executries.
Frazer Coogans’ Ayr office operates a specialist Accident Claims & Personal Injury Damages Centre to assist clients in making claims for personal injury damages after road traffic, workplace, slip and trip accidents and also in criminal injuries compensation.
This Ayrshire firm of solicitors has also established a significant presence in Scotland’s property conveyancing market, advising clients on all aspects of buying, selling and leasing premises both domestic and commercial, and handling property conveyancing for diverse clients across Scotland.
Scottish divorce and family law is another area in which Frazer Coogans solicitors possess particular expertise, advising on the legal, financial and child related issues associated with divorce, providing negotiation for amicable settlement and undertaking litigation where needed.
Frazer Coogans solicitors also offer a professional, dedicated and sympathetic service for wills and estates in the UK, including the administration of estates and appointing Executries.
In 2003 Frazer Coogans successfully attained the “Investors in People” standard.
The firm is fully computerised with Broadband connection. It occupies modern premises in the centre of Ayr with adjacent parking for clients and wheelchair-friendly access.
Issued on behalf of Frazer Coogans Solicitors by Fame Publicity Services. Contact Murdoch MacDonald on +44 (0)1292 281498.
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