Help to buy

Are the Tories about to ditch one of their biggest policy achievements?

We already know much of what will be in Rishi Sunak’s Budget next week. Another £30bn for Covid-relief measures: furlough scheme into the summer, stamp duty holiday and the uplift in universal credit (which is also expected to be time-limited, despite pressure from the opposition to make a permanent adjustment). But this year’s spending splurges are becoming a footnote in a Budget dominated by the prospect of tax rises, for which the Chancellor is already receiving backlash from the left and right. Rumours of a corporation tax hike, circling for a week now, have not been denied. There’s also talk of capital gains tax coming under the Treasury’s spotlight, with

Will the new Help to Buy scheme help anyone?

As Mark Twain didn’t quite say, there are only three certain things in life: death, taxes and yet another government-backed bung for the housing market. The latest instalment is the 2021 to 2023 Help to Buy scheme, which carries on the theme of offering subsidised loans to first-time buyers – and only first-time buyers. Here’s what is on offer—from April. Buyers can take out a loan of between five and 20 per cent of the purchase price of a new home (or up to 40 per cent in London). There is a cap on the property price on which the loans are available varies from region to region, ranging from £186,100 in