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Ship calls for DWP to take over equity release

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Equity-release trade body Safe Home Income Plans is calling on the Government to hand responsibility for equity release to the Department for Work and Pensions.

Currently, equity release issues are primarily dealt with by the Treasury, the DWP and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Speaking to Money Marketing, Ship director general Andrea Rozario says efforts by the industry to engage with Government officials have been hampered by a lack of clarity over which department is responsible for equity release.

She says: “At the moment it is not clear which department takes responsibility for equity release because obviously there are issues which span across Government.

“It would improve communication between policymakers and the industry if a single Government department takes ownership of equity release. We think that the most appropriate department would be the DWP.”

Rozario says Liberal Democrat peer Lord German is keen to push for responsibility to be handed to a single Government department.

Partnership director of corporate affairs Jim Boyd says: “Part of the reason equity release has not been grasped is because no single department is able to coordinate and prioritise policy around it.

“This would be an extremely positive move but the problem policymakers have is that equity release fits into a lot of different pigeonholes.”

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