by Stephen Tall on December 24, 2013
Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 750 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.
Party members reject ‘Help to Buy’ by 61% to 27%
Do you support or oppose providing a government guarantee to encourage banks to offer 95% mortgages to homebuyers, available for homes costing up to £600,000?
5% – Strongly Support
22% – Support
Total support = 27%
9% – Neither support nor oppose
34% – Oppose
27% – Strongly Oppose
Total oppose = 61%
Danny Alexander passionately defends ‘Help to Buy’, arguing “A good home should not be a luxury for the few, but an achievable aspiration for the many”.
Vince Cable has been clear about his concerns, though, openly worrying that it has triggered a “raging housing boom” in London and the South-East.
And two months ago, I asked the question “Does any Lib Dem except Danny Alexander support the Coalition’s ‘Help to Buy’ house price inflation scheme?”
In answer to my question, just over one-quarter (27%) of Lib Dem members do support ‘Help to Buy’, 1-in-20 of you strongly. A substantial majority (61%) disagree, though… just over one-quarter (27%) of you strongly.
Here’s a selection of your comments…
* The obsession with homowning caused the biggest recession in living memory – why are we helping people who cannot afford it get into more debt ?
* Support with the caveat that all mortgages are done on affordability criteria taking into account potential future moves in interest rates. Would also like to see these mortgages offer on a fixed lifetime rate to address this issue
* Except it needs to be coupled with more house building, and I would have set the limit a bit lower the £600k
* It just stokes house prices which benefits mainly estate agents, who are partially responsible for prices being so high.
* House prices need to come down. This will drive them up. People I people cannot find 10% in advance, they are unlikely to be able to cope with mortgage.
* Has simply made house prices more expensive while making owning or renting a house more expensive for those who are already unable to afford housing costs. A subsidy to the well healed middle classe.
* Support but up to £600,000 is too high.
* It distorts the markets and encourages ghastly unwanted building of expensive housing estate by vandal developers without providing wanted and affordable homes.
* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.