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Labour: Newbuy was ‘ludicrously overhyped’

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Labour has criticised the Government’s NewBuy scheme for being “ludicrously overhyped”, saying it will take “200 years” to meet the target of 100,000 new homes.

Speaking at a fringe event on housing policy at the Labour autumn conference in Manchester this week, shadow housing minister Jack Dromey said the Government has achieved little despite a “litany of announcements”.

Under the scheme, announced in the Government’s housing strategy last November and launched in March, lenders offer 95 per cent LTV mortgages for new-build properties against a mortgage indemnity guarantee funded jointly by house builders and the Government.

Last month, figures showed 1,300 people had used NewBuy in the scheme’s first six months, with just 250 new homes built, despite Government targets of 100,000 by 2015.

Dromey said: “NewBuy was ludicrously overhyped, when the Government said there would be 100,000 homes built and the first figures show it is actually 250. At this rate it will be a success but the only problem is that will take 200 years.”

Dromey promised a “big offer” from Labour on housing policy at the next election, pledging it will take “centre stage”.

This week, shadow chancellor Ed Balls unveiled proposals to use a windfall from selling 4G mobile phone licences to pay for stamp duty relief for first-time buyers up to £250,000 and to build 100,000 affordable homes.

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