Tories pledge ‘housing revolution’

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Published: Sunday 5th April 2015 by The News Editor

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A Conservative government would aim to double the number of first-time buyers by 2020 – meaning half a million a year getting their feet on the housing ladder, George Osborne has declared.

The Chancellor promised a “revolution” in home ownership if the party is returned to power at the General Election on May 7 that would fuel a return to the levels of new home ownership seen in the 1980s.

Labour claims Britain’s chronic housing shortage is being fuelled by Coalition schemes such as Help to Buy, but no action is being taken to boost supply.

It unveiled plans yesterday to take the new ISA scheme for first-time buyers announced by Mr Osborne in the Budget and use it to finance wide-scale house building.

But Mr Osborne told the Sunday Telegraph he was determined to push even harder to open home ownership to more people, with as many as one million enjoying direct government help to purchase properties over the next parliament.

“I think we can deliver a revolution in home ownership,” the Chancellor told the newspaper.

“We want to see a massive increase in the number of people who can own their own home because home ownership is an absolutely core Conservative belief and aspiration that we support.

“In the next parliament I would like to see over a million more people helped into home ownership by a Conservative government.

“I would like to see us double the number of first time buyers up to half-a-million. That is the kind of level we saw in the 1980s. There is no reason why our country can’t achieve that again.

“That’s a goal we set ourselves today.”

Since 2010 there have been 1.2 million first-time purchases and Mr Osborne wants at least 2.4 million more over the next five years

Shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds said: “More warm words on housing from the Chancellor will be cold comfort to the record number of young people and families priced out of home ownership over the past five years.

“Under this Tory-led government we’ve seen the lowest levels of housebuilding in peacetime since the 1920s and home ownership has fallen to a 30-year low.

“Labour’s Better Plan will ensure Britain builds the homes working people need.

“Labour will get at least 200,000 homes built a year by 2020, backed by a comprehensive plan – the first in a generation – and a £5 billion Future Homes Fund to support the building of homes for first time buyers.”

Published: Sunday 5th April 2015 by The News Editor

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