Osborne scraps stamp duty on AIM investments

In his Budget on 20th March, Chancellor George Osborne gave a boost to companies like 21st Century that have shares listed on exchanges such as the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

In his speech to the house, Osborne claimed that this would support jobs and growth: "Many observers of the British tax system complain that it has long biased debt financing over equity investment. So today I am abolishing altogether stamp duty on shares traded on growth markets such as AIM.

"In parts of Europe they're introducing a financial transaction tax. Here in Britain we're getting rid of one. From April next year this will directly benefit hundreds of medium-sized UK firms, lowering their cost of capital and supporting jobs and growth across the UK."

Stamp duty is charged at 0.5% of the value of the transaction. While this does not directly affect the finances of the listed company, it is suggested that removing the tax will give investors confidence and make markets more widely used.