Tax benefit

Perhaps Donald Lewis (Letters, 11 December) is correct in thinking that there is a nationalist trait of confusing England with ­London and the South-east.

He is at least correct in thinking that I am aware of the huge areas of England, Wales and Northern Ireland which have housing markets very similar to the markets in Scotland, and are by definition quite different from the market in London.

There is an enormous influence on the rest of the country exercised by London and the South-east.

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In some situations that can be beneficial and in others detrimental.

By introducing a separate Land and Buildings Transaction Tax in Scotland, we have been able to ­remove the influence of the south-east of England which still affects Stamp Duty.

That influence is replaced by a distortion (admittedly not as great) in the Scottish tax caused by house prices in Edinburgh and the Lothians.

Perhaps at a future date that can be removed by having different rates of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax in each area of Scotland.

No doubt such a move, if it were to happen, would be ­followed by Westminster setting different rates in the English, Irish and Welsh regions, in just the same way that they followed finance secretary John Swinney’s lead in removing the stepped rates from Stamp Duty.

Sandy Gemmill

Warriston Gardens