HC Deb 11 January 2000 vol 342 cc144-6
14. Mr. Adrian Sanders (Torbay)

What assessment he has made of the effect of stamp duty on large-scale voluntary housing transfers. [103265]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Mr. Chris Mullin)

Local authorities have to pay stamp duty when they transfer their housing stock to a non-charitable housing association. I am not aware that that has caused significant problems for those authorities on the transfer programme.

Mr. Sanders

Will the Minister take a look at that issue? It seems nonsense that there is a tax take from a system that is supposed to put more money into repair and renovation. That is the whole purpose of transfer, yet there is a clawback to the Treasury in the form of stamp duty, and there have been mutterings from potential transfer authorities that it is a disincentive to their taking that action.

Mr. Mullin

As the hon. Gentleman knows, transfer is bringing in large sums of money to local authorities for investment in housing, and it will do so in Torbay. If Torbay wants to avoid paying stamp duty, it has the option of transferring to a charitable housing association.