Labour call for stamp duty break and new affordable homes

By agency reporter
1 Oct 2012

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has called for a significant investment in new, affordable homes and a stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers.

The proposals formed part of his keynote speech at Labour’s Party Conference in Manchester, and include:

* the construction of 100,000 new affordable homes, funded by the sale of 4G radio frequencies, which are expected to raise between £3-4 billion
* a two-year stamp duty break for first time buyers, on properties worth £250,000 or less.

Labour claim the plans will create jobs and stimulate growth in the construction industry, as well as helping more people on to the property ladder.

Responding to the proposals, Campbell Robb, Chief Executive of ther housing and homelessness charity Shelter, said: "Successive governments have failed to build the homes that this country needs, leaving behind a generation of people unable to see how they can find a stable, affordable place to live.

"Any proposal to build significant numbers of genuinely affordable new homes will be welcomed by the thousands of people priced out of a home of their own, and by the families struggling each month to keep a roof over their head.

"With the average age of a first time buyer now 33, we need to be looking at ways to break down the barriers to home ownership - but it's essential to remember that the biggest obstacle for most first time buyers is finding a home that they can afford, not paying stamp duty."

He concluded: ‘"ncreasing the supply of homes is the only way to tackle our housing crisis."

[Ekk/4]

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