Stamp duty will be scrapped immediately for first-time buyers of homes below £300,000, as the Chancellor put the housing crisis at the heart of his Budget.

Philip Hammond said the move would cut the tax for 95 per cent of first-time buyers – and abolish it altogether for 80 per cent of them.

This means that 80% of first-time buyers will pay no stamp duty, he said.

The change will apply in Northern Ireland up until the end of March.

“This is our plan to deliver on the pledge we have made to the next generation that the dream of home ownership will become a reality in this country once again,” Mr Hammond said.

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