Thursday, 12 February 2015

New right to buy scheme considered

Under a new plan being considered by the Conservatives, millions of council houses would be "given away" to low-paid workers to reward people who come off benefits, according to the Times. It says that Iain Duncan Smith is pushing for a pledge to "gift" tenants their council home after a year in work to be included in the Conservative manifesto. Such tenants would cease to be eligible for housing benefit and would have to pay 35% of the sale proceeds in tax if they sold their property within three years, according to one model under discussion. In later years, the amount of tax paid would fall. All money raised would be ploughed back into the housing market. Proponents argue that the savings in housing benefit and the sales tax receipts, boosted by house inflation, would almost outweigh the cost. Another idea being floated is to extend the Right to Buy programme to the 2.5m homes owned by housing associations. Mr Duncan Smith has been pushing for the Right to Buy scheme, which gives homebuyers discounts of up to £100,000, to be extended. It is currently confined to 2m houses owned by councils.

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