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Labour promises mass council house build and Stamp Duty holiday on affordable FTB housing

  • 06/06/2017
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Labour promises mass council house build and Stamp Duty holiday on affordable FTB housing
The Labour party stepped up its pledges on housing yesterday with promises to ‘slash’ the cost of a home for 100,000 first-time buyers on ‘ordinary incomes’ with a 40% discount on properties and a two-year Stamp Duty holiday.

Labour said it also planned to refocus the Help to Buy scheme to first-time buyers, excluding the 20% of next-time buyers currently using it.

This is a refocus from Labour’s original policy plans skewed to appeal to renters, while the Conservatives targeted house buyers.

John Healey, the party’s housing spokesperson, said: “Our first Labour housing priority will be help for young first-time buyers.

“Under the Conservatives, since 2010, homeownership has fallen by 200,000 with younger families on ordinary incomes the hardest hit.

“After seven years of failure, a Labour government will shift the housing market decisively towards first-time buyers on ordinary incomes.”


‘Genuinely affordable homes’

Healey also pledged a New Deal for 1.2 million people on council waiting lists, by building 100,000 “genuinely affordable homes” a year by 2022, including the biggest council housing programme in over 30 years.

The “vast majority” would be at social rent levels, which is roughly half the cost of so-called “affordable rent”, the level to be used by the Conservatives.

He also pledged reform for private renters, including three-year tenancies with an inflation cap on rent rises and new minimum property standards.

The plan is to build 100,000 affordable homes a year, of which 20,000 would be for first-time buyers, offering discounts of 10-40%, depending on property prices in each area.


Tory pledge

The 2015 Conservative manifesto pledged to build a million homes by the end of 2020, but will result in an increase of just 9,000 a year, according to an analysis out yesterday.

The housing package would be funded from up to £5bn of extra borrowing through a “National Transformation Fund”, although developers would be required to pay for much of the discounts.

Andrew Percy, the Conservative minister for the northern powerhouse said his party had already “got Britain building again” and accused Labour of offering more ‘unfunded’ policies.

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