Benefiting the ‘ordinary’

In John Lamont’s column on October 23, he mentioned the new land and buildings transaction tax which will replace stamp duty in Scotland next year.

He welcomed the “modest” reduction on lower-value homes, but made much of the “huge” tax rise on higher-value homes, asserting this will hit ordinary Borders families.

The facts, from Registers of Scotland statistics, are that in the Borders the average house price is around £170,000. Under the current tax, stamp duty on such a property would be £1,700. Under the new tax, this will reduce to £700, a reduction of £1,000 (59 per cent) – hardly “modest”.

Furthermore, of all properties sold in the Borders, less than eight per cent will be affected by the higher rates under the new tax.

Perhaps Mr Lamont should concentrate on representing his “ordinary” constituents instead of political-points scoring.

Jenni Robertson

Monksford Stables

Newtown St Boswells