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Labour ‘to help first-time buyers’

Posted by Warren Fyfe on April 27, 2015 in Warren Fyfe Site

First-time buyers would be exempt from stamp duty when buying homes for less than £300,000 under a Labour government, Ed Miliband will say.

He will attack the coalition for “the lowest level of housebuilding for almost 100 years and the lowest rate of home ownership for a generation”.

His party will also pledge to begin work on one million new homes by 2020.

The coalition says its Help to Buy scheme has already helped more than 80,000 people to buy homes.

In a speech in Stockton, Teesside, addressing the “modern housing crisis”, Mr Miliband will pledge to help young people on to the housing ladder.

“There’s nothing more British than the dream of home ownership and home ownership is out of reach for so many people in our country,” he will say.

“It’s the right thing to do to enable people to get back on the housing ladder and that’s what a Labour government will do.”

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Policy guide: Where the parties stand

His party would address this through the creation of a “new generation of towns, garden cities and suburbs”, Mr Miliband will say.

The £225m stamp duty pledge would be funded by a clampdown on landlords who avoid tax, a cut in tax relief for landlords who fail to maintain properties and increased taxes for foreign property investors, Labour say.

Buyers currently pay nothing on the first £125,000 of a home’s value and are then charged on a sliding scale, starting with 2% on the next £125,000 and 5% on the following £675,000.

“Critics will argue that lower levels of stamp duty could lead to increased demand in the housing market, pushing prices up and potentially wiping out any savings,” says BBC political correspondent Iain Watson.

The coalition says its Help to Buy scheme has already helped more than 80,000 people to buy homes.

On Sunday, Labour outlined measures to help those in rented accommodation, pledging to introduce as standard three-year tenancies with rent rises capped at inflation. That policy was criticised by Conservatives as destined to “force up rents”, reduce investment in housing and lead to poorer-quality accommodation.

On Monday, the Green Party will announce a policy to cap annual rent increases to inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index, as part of a package of measures aimed at making the private rented sector fairer for tenants.

Leader Natalie Bennett will say: “As it stands, the private rental market is structured in a way that benefits landlords over tenants, and treats homes as investment vehicles. As more people rent, rather than own, their homes, it is vital that we correct this imbalance.”

The Conservatives made an extension of right to buy – the scheme offering council house tenants the chance to buy their home at a discount – to about 1.3m people who live in housing association accommodation a key feature of their manifesto.

They are also pledging discounted homes for first-time buyers and a £1bn fund to “unlock” sites for 400,000 brownfield homes.

The Lib Dems say they would increase housebuilding to 300,000 a year and help young people living with their parents to raise cash for a housing deposit.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-32476194#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

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