View more on these topics

Call to build more homes to aid FTBs

Former director general of the Confederation of British Industry Sir Digby Jones has called on the Government to do more to help first-time buyers.

Speaking at the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ annual conference in London last week, he urged Westminster to reform the stamp duty regime and to build more homes.

Last week’s pre-Budget report only saw the Chancellor give an exemption on stamp duty to those buying new carbon-free homes from next year.

Jones said: “Those coming into the market for the first time must be able to get there. We need a different way of looking at stamp duty. It is not working and it needs to be freed up at the bottom end. No amount of tinkering with interest rates will make sure that nurses and doctors and fire fighters can own their own home.

“The only way to do it is to build more houses. We have the law of supply and demand hitting this market and we have to have a change in policy.

“This Government has talked about reforming plann-ing for a decade and every time it does something local Government does not like it gives in.”

Jones, who was last week appointed the Government’s skills envoy, says the UK mortgage market is the envy of the world. He said: “In the UK mortgage market, we have our own products and thinking outside the box. We are a homeowning environment that is the envy of the world. If people own their home they are more socially responsible and that makes them feel part of a community.

“I do not think products are irresponsible but the market has got to rise to the challenge and show the public and government that it is responsible. I look at leaflets and sometimes I wonder if the target audience understands them.”

Recommended

Move to sell off £4bn closed annuity business

Zurich is looking to sell its closed book of annuity business.Bids for the business, valued at just under £4bn, were lodged with Zurich’s advisers at Lehman Brothers last week.Commentators say Prudential, Aegon and Aviva are the leading contenders for the business although all three have refused to comment while Synesis Life, also touted, was unavailable […]

Woolwich launches ‘City Mortgage 2’

The Woolwich is launching a larger loan mortgage product for amounts over £500,000 as it sees bonuses becoming a reality rather than a future hope. Its second phase of the City Mortgage it launched in October with its “buy now offset your bonus when you get it” message will be Woolwich’s lowest ever lifetime tracker […]

Aramid hedge fund targets film industry

Aramid has set up a specialist entertainment hedge fund that will provide short and medium-term loan finance to the film and television industry.

NPSS unfair for many, say LibDems

The Liberal Democrats say personal accounts are “fatally flawed” as long as mass means-testing remains part of the benefit system and suggest that for many individuals the scheme will be inappropriate and unfair.

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment