Government reveals £3.5m spend on promoting housing schemes

The Government spent £3.5m of taxpayers’ money promoting home ownership schemes such as Right to Buy and Help to Buy last year, it has been revealed.

A written parliamentary question from shadow minister John Healey asked how much the Government had put behind the incentive schemes, whereby social tenants can purchase their homes at a discount and others are helped to buy new-build homes.

Responding to the question, housing minister Gavin Barwell said spending came under the Own Your Own Home Initiative and was up from £2.08m in 2015/16.

Healey has also been busy seeking clarification on what assessment the Chancellor has made of how many landlords will incorporate to mitigate the incoming mortgage interest relief tax changes.

He asked: “What assessment has been made of how many landlords will be (a) affected by, (b) exempted because they are a corporate landlord and (c) exempted because they fall into another exempted group, from the restriction on the ability to deduct loan interest and other financial costs as an expense against income from residential property to the basic rate of income tax announced in Summer Budget 2015.”

Responding this week, Jane Ellison, financial secretary to the Treasury, didn’t really address the question, but said: “The restriction of finance cost relief to the basic rate of income tax will reduce the tax advantage landlords have over home owners in the property market, and will ensure all individual landlords receive the same rate of tax relief on their finance costs.

“HM Revenue and Customs estimates that one in five landlords will pay more tax as a result of this measure.”


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