Luke Pollard

Labour & Co-operative MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport

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'Help to Buy' needs a 'help to build' programme or else its just a bubble warns Labour Candidate


NEWS FROM LABOUR: 'Help to Buy' needs a 'help to build' programme or else its just a bubble warns Labour Candidate
The Government’s Help to buy scheme, where first time buyers are able to get a Government backed mortgage enabling them to buy a home with a smaller deposit was this week heralded an ongoing success by Tory Ministers. However, the Labour Party have questioned the logic of matching rising demand for housing with simply Government backed demand.
Housing in the South West is already more expensive than many parts of the country and Labour is warning that the Government's help to buy scheme could be creating a property bubble instead of a sustainable solution to the housing crisis.
This week Labour have gone further with shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds MP setting out Labour's plans to increase house building to at least 200,000 homes a year by 2020. A house building boost would create up to 230,000 jobs, as well as apprenticeship and training opportunities for young people.
Luke Pollard, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport in 2015 has said that Plymouth could benefit from this pledge. Luke said:  
“Any help for first time buyers struggling to get on the property ladder is to be welcomed but rising demand for housing must be matched with rising supply. House building is at its lowest levels since the 1930s which means fewer new homes to rent or to buy that keeps prices high for everyone. 
"I'm also worried that the lessons of the crash have not been learned. The Help to Buy scheme is wrapped in so much Government PR it is hard sometimes to see that at its core it is a policy designed to sustain a housing bubble where demand outstrips supply keeping prices artificially high. We shouldn't be repeating the same mistakes again.
“You can’t make this a real option for those on low to middle incomes if you don’t build more homes at the same time. Labour have committed to building over 200,000 homes each year to 2020 which will have a huge impact and the Labour-run City Council in Plymouth is committed to building 1,000 new homes each year. 
“The Help to Buy scheme might be helping a few people in the south west get on the housing ladder but without a proper house building programme it will simply make things worse not better for those wanting their own home. 
"Labour's plan for new housing would mean more jobs, training and apprenticeships for people in Plymouth. When youth unemployment remains stubbornly and unacceptably high, over 700 young people in Plymouth alone, we need Government and the construction industry to be working together to build more homes to rent and to buy and to get more of our young people the skills they need to get on in life."
Editor's notes:
1.     Emma Reynolds’ speech to the Home Builders Federation conference can be found here:
3.     Link to latest Labour market statistics showing unemployment levels:



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