Government Support: Savers/Homeowners

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 21st July 2015.

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Photo of James Berry James Berry Conservative, Kingston and Surbiton 11:30 am, 21st July 2015

What steps the Government are taking to support (a) people with savings and (b) home ownership.

Photo of George Osborne George Osborne Chancellor of the Exchequer and First Secretary of State

We need to move Britain from an economy built on debt to a society built on savings and investment and home ownership. That is why we have reformed pensions and rewarded savers. To back home ownership we are building more starter homes, and our new Help to Buy ISA will be available from the beginning of December, because this Government support the aspirations of working people to buy their own home and provide for their future.

Photo of James Berry James Berry Conservative, Kingston and Surbiton

In my weekly surgeries in Kingston and Surbiton a constant theme is how difficult it is to get on the housing ladder in London. Will my right hon. Friend explain how his Help to Buy policies will help my hard-working constituents? Does he agree that plans for more tax, more borrowing and more spending would put house building and families striving to save for a deposit at risk?

Photo of George Osborne George Osborne Chancellor of the Exchequer and First Secretary of State

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. We are going to help his constituents to buy their own home. The Help to Buy scheme has helped 100,000 people; the new Help to Buy ISA will help the families he represents save up for that deposit; and of course we all still want to see more starter homes being built. We have to address the acute housing shortage in London, and we have the policies to do it.

Photo of Barbara Keeley Barbara Keeley Shadow Minister (Treasury)

Why are the Government abandoning people with savings and those who own their own homes? They are going to be forced to spend their savings and sell their homes to pay for their social care costs. The Chancellor raised the hopes of those older and vulnerable people before the election with a pledge that no one would have to sell their home to pay for care. Those people will feel badly let down by the Government’s U-turn. Did he ever intend to keep that manifesto pledge?

Photo of George Osborne George Osborne Chancellor of the Exchequer and First Secretary of State

We are going to introduce that cap on care costs in this Parliament. It is a bit rich coming from a Labour party that was in power for 13 years and did absolutely nothing to cap those costs. That is why we are introducing the cap. We have also already introduced the changes that enable people to provide for their future care costs without having to sell their home. We are making those changes, alongside the support for savers and pensions, so that we move away from the society and economy built on debt that was left to this Government to an economy that builds and rewards savers.