The campaign to abolish stamp duty on share transactions is now being backed by the Liberal Democrat...
The campaign to abolish stamp duty on share transactions is now being backed by the Liberal Democrats, writes Pravin Jeyaraj.
Ed Davey, the party's Treasury spokesman, said last week: "With the structural changes in global markets, particularly due to the euro and the internet, the case for abolishing stamp duty has grown very strong."
The move has been welcomed by internet broker Etrade, which is a supporter of the Stamp Out Stamp Duty campaign. James Marler, managing director of Etrade UK, said: "I agree there is a very strong case. Stamp duty is a significant barrier to online trading in the UK. The costs to the UK investor far outweigh the costs to their Swedish or German counterparts."
A Conservative party spokesman said: "There is great cause for concern but at the moment we do not have a specific policy on stamp duty."
The Treasury declined to comment until the Budget, but a spokesman for the Labour Party said that there were no plans to abolish or reform stamp duty.
Recent research by investment bank JP Morgan found that although the UK accounts for one-third of all European shareholders, it represents only 7% of the European online broking market. Marler cited stamp duty as one of the reasons for this discrepancy.
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