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But Mr Hammond told the Commons that compulsory purchase powers would follow if backed in an “urgent review” to report back by next Spring.“If it finds vitally needed land is being withheld from the market for commercial, rather than technical, reasons, we will intervene,” MPs were told.
It remit will be to “facilitate delivery of sufficient new homes, where they are most needed, to deliver a sustained improvement in affordability”.
But he warned that the proportion of young homeowners had plunged from 59 per cent of young people to just 38 per cent over 13 years.
“We need to do better still if we are to see affordability improved,” Mr Hammond admitted.
Gradually, with the imposition of purchase taxes, they became restricted to financial transactions, especially those involving shares and land (though older readers will recall that until 1971 a tax was charged on cheques).
Once a fixed sum, stamp duty is now based on a proportion of a transaction’s value.
The move came as he promised a wide-ranging package to boost housebuilding, setting a target of an annual 300,000 homes built by the middle of the next decade.