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Denham backs homesaver deal to widen release

Leading Labour backbencher John Denham says the Government must work with the financial industry to create an equity-release programme for people excluded from the product.

Home affairs committee chairman Denham says there is major confusion over equity release and people living in deprived areas and young or middle-aged homeowners are excluded from the benefits.

He says the Government should work with the industry to create a home-saver product, essentially an equity-release plan, with private or charity partners, to boost trust, allow for economies of scale and offload some risk through securitisation.

Former pensions minister Denham was speaking at a Social Market Foundation event to launch a report from the thinktank looking at how more people can take advantage of equity release.

He says: “In recent years, the welfare system has given significant help to the very poorest households. But middle-income families are still in much the same position as they were left by the Tories.

“The Government can help meet their needs by working with the financial services industry on low-cost flexible products to unlock housing capital.”

SMF director Ann Rossiter says: “Finding a way for homeowners to access the wealth is essential if we are to help people cope with life’s uncertainties and avoid a generation of impoverished pensioners.”

Norwich Union director of sales and marketing Daren Carter says: “The idea of a Government-backed equity-release scheme is one to explore in more detail.”

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