The chancellor has refused to rule out reversing stamp duty so it is paid by the seller, rather than the buyer.
In an interview with the Times, Sajid Javid indicated he was willing to consider the policy, which was said to have been favoured by Boris Johnson during the Tory leadership campaign, among others.
Asked about the proposal, Javid told the paper: “I’m looking at various options. I’m a low-tax guy. I want to see simpler taxes.”
The Tory chancellor said he wanted to see “simpler” taxes, while suggesting the lowest paid would be first in line for any cuts. Asked about taxes for higher earners, he said: “Wait and see for the budget … but it wouldn’t be any surprise that I think taxes should be efficient.
“We want to set them at a rate where we are trying to maximise revenue, and that doesn’t always mean that you have the highest tax rate possible. Generally, I want to see lower taxes, but at a level that is going to pay for the public services.”
He said the Treasury would consider whether to make changes to the fiscal rules including eliminating the deficit by the middle of the next decade before he delivered the budget – but that he had not yet decided whether to hold it before 31 October.
“When we have the budget, I will be thinking about whether we need to make any changes to the fiscal rules. It is obvious to me that when you’ve got some of the lowest rates on government debt this country has ever seen I wouldn’t be doing my job if I wasn’t thinking seriously about how do we use [that opportunity].”