George Osborne weighs in on Cheltenham, Gloucester and Tewkesbury housing plan
GEORGE Osborne believes the UK can “get the balance right” between the need to build new homes and protecting the countryside as he weighed in on Cheltenham, Gloucester and Tewkesbury’s housing plan.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer paid a visit to Gloucestershire yesterday to see how government cash is helping Bond Aviation, a business based at the county’s Airport.
And while onsite Mr Osborne was asked about the joint core strategy which sets out where 33,449 homes will be built in the region up to 2031.
“I want our government to help people who want to buy a home, buy a home,” he said.
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“Young families who have got more kids and want to move house they have found it difficult to get mortgages because of what happened in our banking system and we are going to help those people through our Help to Buy scheme by making sure that they can get an affordable mortgage and get on the housing ladder.
“Of course there is then the issue of building homes and I know that is always controversial.
“I am a great believer in trusting to local democracy and the local councils to make the decisions they need to make and to be accountable to local people for those decisions about where new homes are built.”
The Help to Buy scheme aims to make it easier for people to get a mortgage with the government due to guarantee 15 per cent of the value of a property to lenders as of January.
Mr Osborne rejected the idea that Help to Buy could have an inflationary effect on the housing market.
He said: “If you look at the housing market, house prices are 25 per cent lower in real terms than they were five or six years ago and the number of mortgage approvals is half what it was.
“In other words we are very far from an out of control housing boom.”
Mr Osborne was in the county to promote the success of the government’s Business Finance Partnership project.
The BFP has provided more than £870million of lending to businesses since it began in March.
The scheme sees £1 of taxpayers’ money used to raise £5 of lending from the private sector which is then lent to medium and smaller sized businesses.
Bond Aviation, which provides air ambulance and other helicopter support, is one of 18 businesses to have benefited.