Measures to help prop up the faltering housing market were welcomed in some quarters but stopped short of the drastic action demanded by the industry.

The Home Builders Federation has asked the government for a temporary abolition of stamp duty on all transactions up to £1m and a permanent rise in the 1% stamp duty threshold to £250,000 to ease the gridlock in the market.

The group, which represents Britain’s beleaguered house builders, believes such measures are needed to stave off a collapse. Stewart Baseley, chairman of the group, said that the industry was teetering on a 'precipice' with 'dramatic job cuts' just weeks away.

Gordon Brown insisted that the package of measures would 'stimulate' the housing market.