Prescott slams Help to Buy

In his column for The Sunday Mirror, Prescott said that George Osborne’s Help to Buy scheme was doing little to help people on lower incomes and first-time buyers and that builders were creating two tier developments for the wealthy and those less fortunate.

Prescott wrote: “This week house builder Redrow reported a 9% increase in pre-tax profits, when homelessness is at a record high and we’ve got the lowest house-building numbers since the 1920s.

“But Redrow’s boss moaned on the Today programme that planning restrictions should be relaxed so they can build more expensive houses!

“All Help to Buy has done is drive up house prices and profits. It’s done nothing to help those at the bottom.”

Government statistics recently revealed that the Help to Buy scheme has already enabled 35,000 people to buy their own home.

And the government has been keen to point out that an increase in house building was always intended as a side-effect of the scheme.

In June then housing minister Kris Hopkins said: “Help to Buy is changing that – to date, this scheme has enabled 35,000 people buy their own place with a fraction of the deposit they would normally require.

“And with house building up a third over the past year, it’s clearly having a wider impact, getting workers back on construction sites and building the homes communities want and need.”