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TOPIC: Homelessness is now the public face of this Tory era

Homelessness is now the public face of this Tory era 23 Dec 2017 07:50 #5406

  • Paul-UB40
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Conservatives give another £10bn to the help-to-buy scheme, benefiting their voters. Imagine what that money could do in the hands of charities the Guardian is supporting

Thu 21 Dec ‘17 12.30 GMT
Polly Toynbee

Generous donations are flowing into the Guardian’s appeal for three homeless charities, bursting past £750,000 less than a fortnight after its launch. But what is the government doing? Looking after their own voters, again.

The chancellor is pouring another £10bn into the help-to-buy programme next year, despite the government’s own evidence that the last £10bn helped largely better-off buyers who would have bought anyway. Help to buy offers an interest-free government loan worth up to 20% of a property’s value for new-build homes. But of those using it, one in five are already homeowners: Shelter finds their incomes are higher than those of young renters in the English regions where the scheme is used most.

It has made things worse for the rest of the would-be first-time buyers, pushing up house prices further beyond their reach. Even for those in the scheme, it has inflated the price of properties they buy: new-build has outstripped secondhand by 15% since the start of help to buy.

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