When Ministers announced the moratorium on stamp duty it was part of a package of measures designed to stimulate recovery in the housing market. The argument deployed by the then Financial Secretary was that the measure
would not transform the world
but would give a mild impetus towards housing recovery.
I have a dreadful feeling as we sit here tonight that there were two kinds of impetus towards the introduction of the moratorium. Certainly the depth of the housing crisis with which Ministers were confronted was one, but I suspect that the second was the ticking away of the general election clock sounding very loud and clear in Ministers ears, and providing a very clear incentive to tackle the problems of the housing crisis.