David Cameron brings forward Help to Buy scheme
A controversial scheme allowing people across the UK to take out 95% mortgages will be launched next week – three months earlier than planned.
PM David Cameron made the announcement as the Conservatives gathered in Manchester for their annual conference.
He rejected fears the Help to Buy scheme will fuel a housing bubble.
He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show the market was “recovering from a very low base” and first-time buyers needed help to get on the housing ladder.
“As prime minister I am not going to stand by while people’s aspirations to get on the housing ladder are being trashed.”
He added: “If we don’t do this it will only be people with rich parents to help them who can get on the housing ladder – that is not fair, it is not right.”
He rejected concerns – raised by Business Secretary Vince Cable among others – of an unsustainable boom in house prices, particularly in the south-east of England.
The prime minister urged people to “trust” the Bank of England, which has been given an enhanced role in monitoring the effect of the scheme on prices.
And he said mortgage-lenders, including the Halifax, RBS and Nat West, had already signed up to it.
Some of the UK’s biggest lenders – HSBC, Santander, Nationwide and Barclays – have yet to decide whether to take part, the banks told the BBC.
Mr Cameron also used his Andrew Marr interview to stress that there would be no “mansion tax” if he his prime minister after the next election, making it clear that this would be a so-called “red line” – a point he would refuse to concede – in coalition negotiations.
A property tax on more valuable homes – known as a mansion tax – is a key demand of the Liberal Democrats.