‘Help to Buy’: 61% of Lib Dem members oppose Government’s cheap mortgage scheme

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%
    Don’t know

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.

  • 1,500 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. 749 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 14th and 18th December.
  • Please note: we make no claims that the survey is fully representative of the Lib Dem membership as a whole. However, LibDemVoice.org’s surveys are the largest independent samples of the views of Lib Dem members across the country, and have in the past offered accurate guides to what party members think.
  • For further information on the reliability/credibility of our surveys, please refer to FAQs: Are the Liberal Democrat Voice surveys of party members accurate? and polling expert Anthony Wells’ verdict, On that poll of Lib Dem members.
  • The full archive of our members’ surveys can be viewed at www.libdemvoice.org/category/ldv-members-poll
  • * 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.