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Harris slams Govt on affordable homes

Savills Private Finance managing director Mark Harris has accused the Government of failing to deliver on providing affordable housing for first-time buyers.

Harris says there is too much talk and not enough action on helping FTBs. He believes the Government’s housing schemes are half-baked and should be open to far more people.

He is concerned that the housing market will stagnate if it does not have enough people coming in at the bottom.

Harris says: “I think that affordability has become an issue and the products and schemes the Government is backing need to be refined.

“It has got to stop saying how many hundreds of millions of pounds it is going to commit. It needs to get on with it and listen to people in the market who know what is needed.”

In April, Money Marketing revealed that fewer than 500 people took out a mortgage in the first six months of the Openmarket Homebuy scheme designed to help FTBs and key workers.

The Department for Communities and Local Government launched the scheme last October, with Advantage, Nationwide and Yorkshire Building Society as the original three members, with Halifax joining in March.


Combine harvesters

Investors looking to reap profits from commodities can utilise a variety of investment vehicles.

FSA web update may herald Icob rules on non-advice

The FSA has added a buying without advice section to its Money Made Clear website, warning that consumers may be unable to seek redress from the Financial Ombudsman Service if they buy the wrong insurance product.Lifesearch head of protection strategy Kevin Carr believes this could indicate that the FSA’s imminent Icob report will make concrete […]

Taken off the menu

The FSA has finally come out and admitted defeat, sounding the death knell for that onerous and, according to some advisers who have been in contact with Money Marketing, “pointless” document.

Witan register

Witan would like to clarify that trust busters Laxey Partners is not on its shareholder register. Witan is continuing its sharebuyback programme as part of its commitment to managing its discount, which analysts say should deter abitrageurs.

Cricket - thumbnail

England vs Australia: pensions

Well, the cricket season is here, and England and Australia are stepping up to the wicket. Although we compete with each other in the sporting world, when it comes to pensions, Australia’s pension programme is held up as a model for our auto-enrolment initiative. Auto-enrolment was introduced because people weren’t saving enough into their pensions, and it is still early days but signs are positive. However, in Australia, saving into a pension is compulsory, and in fact employers are the ones who have to pay in. Employees in Australia can make additional contributions into their pensions, but they don’t have to. Should the onus be on the employer or employee to save? Well in the UK we think it’s both, but to get ‘adequate’ savings for retirement it’s the employee who has to pay more in.


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