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‘Cameron uninformed on Hips’

The Association of Home Inf-ormation Packs has attacked Tory leader David Cameron, describing his stance on Hips as an example of the “uninformed” comment circulating in Westminster.

Speaking at the Mortgage Business Expo in Manchester last week, Ahips deputy director general Paul Broadhead said Cameron’s suggestion that Hips should be scrapped because of the damage they will do to first-time buyers was the least valid of any argument against the scheme.

Broadhead said he had spent the last few weeks discussing Hips with MPs and found that many were unaware of the true facts behind their implementation.

He refuted suggestions of growing Hip disillusionment within the Government, saying the fact that housing minister Yvette Cooper kept her position in the reshuffle as well as new communities and local government secretary Ruth Kelly’s initial positive comments proved that Hips would not fall foul of a last-minute U-turn.

Broadhead said the timetable of regulation laid out in June followed by a dry run in January before the full rollout next June will not be derailed.

He also said providers were working on “no sale no fee” packs to bring to the market to address concerns.

Council of Mortgage Lenders head of policy Jackie Bennett said the CML is not against Hips but it has considerable concerns over the proposals, saying it is unlikely that the home inspector certification scheme and data bank will be ready by the June 2007 deadline.

Bennett also warned Chancellor Gordon Brown about the potential losses of stamp duty revenue due to market distortion and the unintended consequences of the new regime.

Broadhead said: “MPs are uninformed about what home information packs are going to do which is shown in claims from David Cameron about the effect on first-time buyers. If people were going to back any argument against Hips, it should not be that one.”


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