Can I just say categorically that I am not anti-tax. Nor am I against richer people having to pay more. I'd happily advocate the return of the 50% band, and I'd also advocate the removal of benefits such a Winter Fuel Allowance for those above a certain income threshold. I'd also levy tax on those who own more than one house.At the same time, people who earn more pay more in tax by, ehm, earning more, so there is a balance.
None of the above could be considered Conservative policy.
For many years, people have talked about a North/South divide in the UK in terms of wages and power, and if you've ever been to London, you certainly know it's true.
If you are fortunate enough to be able to buy a family house for, say £400 000, in London, this would cost you £ 10 000 in stamp duty. (2% up to the value of £250 000 from £125000 ,i.e £2.5k, plus 5% on the 150k above 250k, i.e £7500).
In Scotland, it'll cost you £16 400 ( 2% up to £250 000 from £180000 i.e 1400, then 10% on the remaining £150k, ie 15 000).
That's £6400 more in Scotland than in England.
With house prices inflating at 10% in the last year, and an already grossly inflated Edinburgh and Aberdeen housing market, a house of over £400000 is for some not a vanity choice, but a necessity.
The poor middle class, I hear you sobbing unsympathetically.Well, George Osborne has now made stamp duty 5% cheaper in England than in Scotland for all properties above £250 000, and I'd suggest that affects a much bigger demographic than just the middle class.
Remember, your mortgage won't cover the stamp duty, as banks will only lend as a proportion to Home Report Value so you'll have to fund that out of your savings. AND, when interest rates increase (which they will) you'll have fewer savings to offset the pain of the increased repayments.
The SNP, and indeed a wider community, has moaned about Westminster and a North/South wealth divide. Now you can say the Scottish Government has helped widen it.
Scotland; a more expensive place to live than England.