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GPs face stamp duty blow

GPs moving premises face stamp duty bills of tens of thousands because of a Government tax hike on rented properties.

The new rules, which come into force on December 1, mean GPs will have to pay 1 per cent of their annual rent multiplied by the length of their lease in stamp duty.

Medical accountants have predicted the changes will amount to a 10-fold increase in duty on some new leases.

GPs said the rates would act as a disincentive for practices to move to new premises via the LIFT initiative.

Dr David Chesover said he would have to pay £36,000 rather than £4,000 when he moves premises in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, next year. 'This is a considerable chunk of money we had set aside to develop patient services,' he said.

'We have four practices in a 10-mile radius being affected by this new law,' he added.

Dr Grant Kelly, chair of the GPC premises sub-committee, said the changes were 'a tax on health' and GPs should be reimbursed by the Department of Health.

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