Life, liberty and property. Oh, and exorbitant taxes. (A rant about the cost of moving house.)

I’m currently in the process of selling my flat and buying a house with Citizeness Sane (we need to make space for her shoes). It’s going to be great: we will have such luxuries as (gasp!) a garden! And an upstairs! And a second bedroom! And we’ll own it outright too, so no more lease management company charging me six hundred pounds a year for nothing.

But it’s a damn expensive process, moving house. Solicitor fees, mortgage broker fees, estate agent commission (“here, have 2% of the value of the property for doing fuck all”), surveyor fees, removal costs, etc. Oh, and stamp duty. Stamp duty. Don’t get me started on stamp duty.

We’re going to buy a house.

That’s great! Exactly the sort of thing we want to encourage. Now please make out a cheque for one per cent of the value of the property you are buying.

Err, excuse me?

Well, you’re buying a house. So it stands to reason that you should give us a couple of thousand pounds. So cough up you little tax bitches, or we’ll send the bailiffs round.

It’s sickening. We’ve already been screwed by the value of property in this country, especially in London. To then have to hand money over like this makes me foam at the mouth with rage. If I ever meet Gordon Brown I’ll stick his ‘stamp duty’ up his fat arse. In gold bullion.


Centrist. Atlanticist. Dry liberal. Anti-totalitarian. Post-ideological pragmatist. Child of The Enlightenment. Toucan.

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9 comments on “Life, liberty and property. Oh, and exorbitant taxes. (A rant about the cost of moving house.)
  1. ph says:


    What have you turned into?
    I am sure that last year you would have been happy to be called progressive. And as you know progressive policies cost money, lots and lots of your money (mainly badly spent). The only way to get this is by taxing, and as we are being constantly reminded people are glad to pay tax.
    Just a note on progressive policies, any policy proposed by a politician, whilst the opposition’s policies are regressive.

  2. Citizen Sane says:

    I beg to differ ph. In the lifetime of this blog I have never (to my knowledge) favoured tax and spend policy. Here’s something I wrote on April 16th 2005 about the upcoming election.

    The agenda for the next parliamentary term is already set, regardless of who wins. Like it or not, the proposed spending plans of Labour and the Conservatives across the board are pretty much identical. By 2007-08, the tax burden under Labour will be 40.4% of GDP; under the Conservatives it would be 40.1%. They will both have to raise taxes one way or the other to avoid further borrowing (£34 billion in 2004-05, fact kids!). Not that either of them will admit to that – spineless, lying cocksuckers that they all are.

    On that note, the Labour Party’s claim that a vote for the Tories is a vote for massive cuts to essential spending is massaging the truth somewhat. Like Labour, the Tories are committed to year-on-year increases, just not as much by 2008/09. They plan to reduce spending by cutting waste and improving efficiency – although haven’t actually said how. But (and here’s a controversial opinion for the left), there’s nothing wrong with a government committing themselves to spending less of our money! Who wouldn’t want to pay less tax if savings can be made elsewhere? The public sector is notoriously wasteful. Just look at the Child Support Agency revelations from earlier this week. Do we have any reason not to suppose that every government agency is just as badly run and poorly managed? No, I suspect we probably don’t.

  3. sparx says:

    I will never move house again. My future children are just going to have to live in the shed at the bottom of the garden (an overrated green strip of land behind the house that the wife thinks you should spend every weekend in the summer weeding).

    Are you sure you want to move? Can’t you just cut one of Citizeness Sanes feet off? That’ll halve the amount of shoes to be stored and save you 1% into the bargain!

  4. the thin white duke says:

    1% of the value of the property, I dream of 1% of the value of the property. Here in Belgium I have just paid 10% of the value to the gov and I got a 2% discount because I moved within Flanders!!
    Mind you property is reasonably cheap here, but with those punitive levels of tax its plain to see why. So forgive me for having no sympathy with you
    Mr Duke sends his best
    PS Due to a father who fancies Julie Andrews I got your Sharia headline and thought it was the best as well. Arse lick over

  5. Citizen Sane says:

    10% is an obscenity. Revolutions have started over less.

  6. H says:

    Coming from a country with a 5% stamp duty, where property is not cheap, I have no idea what you are whinging about Sane. I must admit we got a significant saving for being newlyweds and immigrants and buying in a particular area, etc, etc.

    Stamp duty is an obvious tax – if you can afford to have your own house you can afford to help the poor homeless buggers get into sheltered accomodation. Yes – ordering society costs rich people money, but hold on a second who says you should get paid three grand a month? How dare you suggest that that is what your work is worth? When a farmer in Ethiopia gets one hundredth of that? Why can’t he come to England and get paid the market value of his work?

  7. Citizen Sane says:

    I’m clearly just being facetious, but that doesn’t make me any less resentful of the fact that I’ll have to hand over this money simply because I’m buying a house. It’s even more obscene for first time buyers (although at least the government upped the threshold to £120k – although that won’t help anyone in London).

    As for your other points. . .

    Stamp duty is an obvious tax – Maybe, but that doesn’t make it any less punitive. It’s a hangover from the days of feudalism if you ask me.

    if you can afford to have your own house you can afford to help the poor homeless buggers get into sheltered accommodation – Well, that’s an assumption on your part. But why should such a major transaction be taxed? Home ownership is beneficial to society, no government should be increasing the financial burden.

    How dare you suggest that that is what your work is worth? When a farmer in Ethiopia gets one hundredth of that? Why can’t he come to England and get paid the market value of his work? – Bit of a surreal tangent you’ve taken there. Firstly, my employer suggests what my work is worth, not me: I either accept or reject their offer. And what have the wages of an Ethiopian farmer got to do with this conversation??? Anyway, he can’t come to England and get paid the market value of his work primarily because of EU economic protectionism – a central tenet of the common agricultural policy as designed, implemented and enforced by successive social democratic European governments. So blame the left. Personally, I favour open markets that would allow farmers and traders in the developing world to ply their trade on a level playing field. Although how this is linked to my house purchase I have no idea. . .

  8. ph says:


    I do not see why you equate owning your own home a preserve of the rich. Somewhere to live is vital for survival, as is food and clothes. Do you think that we should not own our own food and clothes – maybe you do.
    I have every sympathy for C.S. All he is asking for is a humble dwelling to live in, and you h are suggesting that he is being a tad selfish.

  9. H says:


    fair cop gov – I have no idea what I was banging on about in my last post. A tad too pissed off with the world. Though I stand by stamp duty.

    Ph – home ownership is not enjoyed by the majority of the world’s population. In some countries, it is considered perfectly normal that the state owns all housing and it is apportioned to people on a needs basis. I recognise that people need to have somewhere to live – not that they NEED to own that place. Capitalism’s (and feudalism’s) focus on property and possesion is in fact appealing to the individual’s most selfish nature.

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