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Benefits to bricks, our personal finance expert responds to new announcement.

He said: “Boris Johnson is unashamedly dipping into Margaret Thatcher’s ‘Greatest Hits’ catalogue to shore up backbench support following this week’s damaging no-confidence vote.

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“While this announcement may delight many of the Tory faithful, the devil will ultimately be in the detail, and it could be a long time before we see those details finalised.

“Mrs Thatcher’s right to buy scheme allowed millions of council tenants to buy their homes at a discount, but 40 years after it came into effect, home ownership has actually fallen back to 1980s levels.

“Many of these homes now seem to be in the hands of private landlords, with the rise in people renting privately almost exactly mirroring the fall in people renting socially since the 1980s.

“There are also concerns over whether the homes passed to social renters under the scheme will be replaced - given the size of the discount right-to-buy schemes offer and the difficulties faced by new housing developments up and down the country.

“That’s all before we get to questions on lending practices - with income multiples and deposit requirements from mortgage lenders seemingly at odds with benefits policies, that cap payouts and progressively remove benefits the more you have saved up in the bank. 

“Until the finer details are ironed out with input from stakeholders across the housing sector, including major lenders, many question marks will remain over whether the Prime Minister’s ambitious plans will ever amount to anything more than headlines for Britain’s millions of aspiring homeowners.”


About James Andrews

James has spent the past 15 years writing and editing personal finance news, specialising in consumer rights, pensions, insurance, property and investments - picking up a series of awards for his journalism along the way.

View James Andrews's full biography here or visit the money.co.uk press centre for our latest news.