Labour amends Right to Buy plans

Michael Lloyd

November 6, 2019

Labour’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell (pictured) has amended the party’s Right to Buy plans, The Times has reported.

McDonnell previously said that Labour would give private tenants the option of buying their rented homes at a discounted price which he described as a “reasonable price”.

However this was widely criticised, with David Smith, policy director for the Residential Landlords Association warning it would “kill off” the private rental sector.

McDonnell has now said that the policy would not apply for those who own one or two rental properties, but only for the wealthiest landlords.

He said: “There’s a large number of individuals or families who have bought another property as their asset for the future and we wouldn’t want to endanger that.”

Payam Azadi, director of Niche Advice, remained critical of the plans.

Azadi added: “I don’t agree with Right to Buy. You’re getting tenants mixed up with a commercial entity.

“Buy-to-let landlords are businesses, not housing associations or the government.

“Where’s the incentive for them to sell to their tenants? Why would they want to sell? Is there going to be tax advantages or any other benefits?

“I think it’s just talking for the sake of talking. We need more information on the initiative so let’s get the details out and we can review it.

“It’s a big change to make.”

Other Labour policies include moving to a 32-hour week which the party said would take over a decade.

Analysis by the Resolution Foundation think tank also found that marginal income tax rates for the highest earners will rise to 67.5% under a Labour government.

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