Protesters' e-petition calls for end to shares duty

Campaigners calling for the abolition of stamp duty on shares will deliver an electronic petition with hundreds of signatures to 10 Downing Street

The power of the internet has been harnessed this week to press the Chancellor to abolish stamp duty on share transactions in his 7 March Budget.

The power of the internet has been harnessed this week to press the Chancellor to abolish stamp duty on share transactions in his 7 March Budget.

An electronic petition on the Stamp Out Stamp Duty Campaign's website, www.StampOutStampDuty.co.uk has been officially launched this week. On Tuesday 6 March it will be the first e-petition presented "virtually" to the official Number 10 Downing Street website.

The campaign brings together investors, City opinion formers and big business concerns who agree there are now four pressing reasons to abolish stamp duty on shares:

? the UK is the last major world economy to impose this level of tax on share trades. Arguably this endangers London's future as a financial centre.

? UK companies can choose to register their business abroad to avoid the tax, losing the UK revenue and jobs;

? investors feel they are being taxed for being responsible citizens, especially when buying Government-promoted ISAs and the new stakeholder pensions; and

? the abolition of stamp duty would increase trading and UK share values. It would also increase capital gains and corporation tax revenues from their improved performance, thus boosting the contribution to the Treasury, according to economists. It would also remove a competitive disadvantage to UK companies.

Mark Powell, chairman of the Association of Private Client Investors and Stockbrokers (APCIMS), the campaign coordinators, said: "The more business grows across borders, the more of a disadvantage stamp duty is to UK companies and savers.

"A start must be made on rolling back this tax, which adversely affects everyone from pensioners to companies planning mergers."

The Stamp Out Stamp Duty website contains opinion, articles and links to key websites to provide a complete resource of information on the campaign.

The campaign is a coalition of trading associations, personal finance websites and publications including APCIMS, ProShare and the Quoted Companies Alliance, City HotDesk, Interactive Investor and The Motley Fool, Investors Chronicle and Shares magazine.

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