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Expert attacks Government “tinkering”

A leading housing expert has attacked the Government’s ‘housing rescue package’ for not doing enough to meet the current problems in the UK housing market.

DeMontford University social housing expert Dr Peter King told the BBC’s Today programme that the Government’s proposed package hasn’t done nearly enough to solve the crisis that is affect the UK market.

Communities secretary Hazel Blears this morning announced a care package for those trying to get onto the housing market. With the help of the Government and the house builders, first-time buyers who earn under £60,000 will be given 30 per cent of the property’s worth, which does not have to be paid for five years.

The Government has also upped the threshold for stamp duty, from £125,000 to £175,000.

For those on the brink of repossession, the Government is also launching a ‘sale and rent back’ scheme where homeowners can sell a percentage or all their home to the Government.

King says: “This is just tinkering round the margins. Offering a £1 billion care package is too small when you consider a good year of mortgage sales constitutes £25 billion.”

King says the scheme to help those struggling with repossession mirrors the schemes introduced by John Major in 1991, which he says failed miserably.

King adds: “The problem with the housing market is a global issue – tinkering with social housing will not do enough to help people.”

Blears says: “This package will not transform the world, but it will help individuals. The mortgage rescue scheme will not rescue everyone, we are not being profligate with tax payers’ money, but it will allow good, hard-working people to stay in their homes.

“David Cameron says there is nothing more a Government can do to help first-time buyers than offer a stamp duty break, but I will not accept that.”

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