Government said to be hiding Help to Buy risks


The government has published a risk assessment of the Help to Buy mortgage scheme, but is refusing to publish it, according to an MP.

Hilary Benn, the shadow local government secretary, was told that publication of the document has been vetoed by ministerial vote, after he requested a freedom of information response, the Independent reports.

This has triggered concern that the government is trying to hide official warnings that the scheme could in some way endanger the economy or housing market. 

The risk assessment was carried out in March, which means George Osborne would have ignored its warnings.

The government’s flagship mortgage scheme has been praised for rejuvenating the housing market, however a number of industry experts have expressed concern that it will cause a housing bubble, and want to see it altered in some way.  

Mr Benn said that while he supports the scheme, he is concerned that it threatens to increase the number of people bidding for an insufficient number of houses, making it more difficult – instead of easier – for first-time buyers to get onto the property ladder.

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