Controversy over Help to Buy promotional photos

Wed, 08 Jan 2014

Controversy over Help to Buy promotional photos
It has been revealed that the single mother who starred in Help to Buy campaign photos with David Cameron actually bought her flat through the estate agent where she works.

Sharon Ray posed for pictures with her two-year-old daughter and the prime minister to publicise the two-bedroom flat she purchased, seemingly thanks to the government's flagship housing scheme.

However, it has transpired that Ms Ray is the director of sales at an estate agent through which she bought the property. She has worked there for eight years and drives a BMW worth £33,000.

Consequently, the marketing campaign has come under fierce criticism. Although there is no indication that Ms Ray has acted wrongly, she is not seen as the typical person that the scheme was designed to help.

A spokesperson for Number10 insisted that Ms Ray was the type of person the scheme would benefit - a hard-working mother who could afford the monthly repayments but would struggle to accumulate a deposit.

The scheme has recently come under criticism from Liberal Democrat business secretaryVince Cable for fuelling a housing bubble and from shadow housing ministerEmma Reynoldsas the housebuilding rate is not increasing fast enough.
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