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Sipps could boost local communities

Community Sipps could prevent rural inhabitants from being priced out of their local property market when pension investors start snapping up second homes after A-Day.

JB Financial Partner John Bradley says a form of community Sipp could be set up to buy local housing to keep it out of the clutches of second-home hunters.

But he says the Welsh Assembly’s call for a ban on property Sipps in Wales is an unworkable reaction.

The assembly voted three weeks ago for an amendment to be presented to the Treasury asking for Welsh residential properties to be exempt from investment in Sipps.

In a speech this week, Plaid Cymru’s Caernarfon MP Hywel Williams said a number of schemes are being piloted in his constituency to preserve local identities and keep homeownership within communities. These include community land trusts and funds, with further possibilities around group Sipps.

Bradley says: “A community pension fund could be a positive move. Local people cannot compete with weal- thy local individuals and investors. I am not suggesting that we use pension funds for charitable status. What we should do is transfer pension funds into a community fund and use this to produce a good investment to give local housing to local people.”

Williams says: “We are looking at a number of schemes in our communities to boost housing for young people.”

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