Conservatives promise to slash £1 billion in tax by freeing more homebuyers from 1% levy.

Michael Howard has promised that the Conservatives would raise the threshold for stamp duty to £250,000 if elected. Mr Howard said that the move would enable young families and first-time buyers to get on to the first and second rungs of the property ladder, freeing 500,000 home-buyers from the tax.

The cut amounts to a saving of £1 billion, and would mean that 80% of homes in the UK could be sold without incurring stamp duty. The move has been warmly welcomed by estate agents; Russell Jervis, managing director of haart, said: “The government’s decision to change the initial threshold to £120,000 was simply not sufficient, it was a total cop-out by the chancellor.

The Conservatives’ latest announcement will certainly help first-time buyers get their feet on the ladder. We warmly welcome [their] decision.”