Home Buyers

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 5th November 2013.

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Photo of Alec Shelbrooke Alec Shelbrooke Conservative, Elmet and Rothwell 11:30 am, 5th November 2013

What recent fiscal steps he has taken to help people who want to buy their own home.

Photo of Sajid Javid Sajid Javid The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The Government are committed to making the aspiration of home ownership a reality for as many people as possible. That is why we recently announced that participating lenders will be able to offer high loan-to-value mortgages supported by their Help to Buy mortgage guarantee schemes three months earlier than planned. I was pleased to hear that Lloyds Banking Group recently announced that the first such mortgage was taken out by a first-time buyer in Dartford, Kent.

Photo of Alec Shelbrooke Alec Shelbrooke Conservative, Elmet and Rothwell

Will my hon. Friend update the House specifically on helping the hard-working people in my constituency, where there is 77% home ownership, which is increasing, compared with 65% across the UK?

Photo of Sajid Javid Sajid Javid The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

Under Labour, the number of first-time buyers fell to its lowest level for 25 years, from an average of 470,000 a year in the early 2000s to around 190,000 by 2008. That destroyed the hopes and aspirations of many hard-working families. This Government’s two Help to Buy schemes will help thousands of hard-working people to get on the housing ladder, including those in Elmet and Rothwell and those throughout the UK.

Photo of Ann McKechin Ann McKechin Labour, Glasgow North

Is it fair for taxpayers in my constituency to subsidise a London property bubble that has already increased by 10% since the introduction of this scheme?

Photo of Sajid Javid Sajid Javid The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The hon. Lady should know, as she would if she looked at the facts carefully, that the Help to Buy scheme is priced on commercial terms; it is designed to break even and it will not cost the taxpayer anything.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous Conservative, South West Bedfordshire

Does the Minister share my concern that, reportedly, some young people have actually given up saving for a deposit, and will he ensure that those of us on the Government Benches will stand with those people who have a dream of home ownership to make sure it can be fulfilled?

Photo of Sajid Javid Sajid Javid The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Some Opposition Members believe that only people who have rich parents that can help them meet some of the large deposit requirements should be able to buy their own home. That is not the policy of this Government, who support hard-working families.

Photo of Shabana Mahmood Shabana Mahmood Shadow Minister (Treasury)

On the issue of fiscal steps to help people buy homes, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said last year that people buying homes through a company to avoid tax was unacceptable, and he would come down on it

“like a ton of bricks”.

Has he investigated reports that the Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Stephen Hammond, has avoided tax in that way, and will he come down on him like a ton of bricks?

Photo of Sajid Javid Sajid Javid The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

I welcome the hon. Lady to the shadow Front Bench team. I look forward to debating with her. The Government have already taken steps to ensure that property buyers pay more in tax, by increasing stamp duty and by dealing with purchases through companies, and it would not be appropriate for any Minister to make a comment on any individual’s tax circumstances.