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Cameron wants to revive right to buy

Tory leader David Cameron has called for a return of the right-to-buy policy of the 1980s and a planning revolution to boost housing supply.

Speaking at a Cicero Consulting first-time buyers’ summit in London last week, Cameron said a radical solution was needed to address housing problems and he has commissioned a Tory working group to look into boosting the right-to-buy scheme.

Cameron said right to-buy led to hugely beneficial changes in society in the 1980s and would stem growing inequalities between homeowners and non-homeowners.

He said a policy of allowing council tenants to convert rental payments into mortgage repayments would create a “whole new generation of homeowners”.

He said potential disadvantages, such as the negative effect on the stock of soc- ial housing, needed to be addressed with further policies to create greater supply but that the advantages outweigh the obstacles.

To improve supply, Cameron called for a planning revolution with a system of incentives allowing local communities to benefit from new developments.

He attacked the Government’s planning gains supplement for failing local communities due to the fact that money will be centralised first through the Treasury and claimed that localised incentives would work better.

He pledged support for Home Buy and called for an extension of the scheme.

Cameron said: “Right to buy led to huge changes with 2.5 million people able to own their own homes. This is what I will be asking our housing group to look at.”

However, John Charcol senior technical director Ray Boulger warned the Tories that Cameron’s talk of a planning revolution must be industry-led.

Boulger said: “The market is much better at deciding the debate. We are getting too much micro-management from the Government.”

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