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First-time Byers in plea for interest-free loans

Former Cabinet minister Stephen Byers is urging the Government to adopt a policy to help first-time buyers get on to the housing ladder with interest free loans.

Byers has revealed proposals to offer people living in council and housing association property interest-free loans for a deposit to be repaid to the Government on sale or transfer.

It is hoped that the move could encourage new buyers into the private sector, freeing council property.

Byers is urging ministers to devise “simple and straightforward ways in which people can be helped on to the first rung of the homeownership ladder”. His plans include an interest-free loan, with the amount set according to the number of years people have been renting and local prices.

He believes the move would go some way to address a “feeling of injustice” among those paying high levels of rent who feel they would be better off paying a mortgage.

Conservative Treasury spokesman Howard Flight says: “The question is who is paying for all this? This is typical Labour robbing with one hand by removing stamp duty so people can’t get enough money together for a deposit and supposedly giving with another. It sound like general election hype to me.”

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In Focus — May 2015: private medical insurance market in Germany

Welcome to the latest edition of In Focus. In this issue, Jelf examines the private medical insurance market for employers with expatriate workforces in Germany. This includes the common challenges faced in sourcing appropriate coverage, along with a selection of available solutions. This will be of particular interest to HR/reward decision makers with employees based in Germany. It will assess the cultural norms, risks and backdrop that are relevant to organisations with expatriate staff in this location.

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