Chancellor George Osborne has rallied in favour of Help to Buy mortgages – the coalition’s flagship housing policy.
The popular funding for lending scheme announced earlier this year by the government has been hit by a number of criticisms from Liberal Democrat officials – including Nick Clegg and Vince Cable – who have said the programme will inflate the housing bubble.
Countering this, Mr Osborne said Help to Buy mortgages are not a “weapon of mass destruction” but are instead “tools to help people get on the housing ladder”. The Conservative politician was speaking at the Institute of Director’s annual London conference.
The chancellor also used the summit as an opportunity to highlight his belief the UK’s economy is “turning a corner”, with recent figures released from the manufacturing sector and homebuilding industry pointing to a stronger private sector.
However, a surprise fall in retail income will worry the Conservative. Food sales fell by 2.7 per cent and this will hit supermarkets like Asda and Tesco hard – especially troublesome considering the number of people employed in the grocery sector.