Spring Budget: What’s missing?

Jake Carter

March 12, 2020

With the Spring Budget now concluded, Mortgage Introducer looked at what industry figures believe was missed.

David Sinclair, director of the International Longevity Centre UK believes that the government missed an opportunity to recognise the challenges created from people living longer.

Sinclair said: “We are failing to maximise the economic potential of longer lives; we are failing to invest in preventing ill health; social care is in crisis; and we know pensioner poverty will start to increase.”

He also stressed that, “we continue to fail to invest seriously to make the most of the potential social and economic opportunity of longevity”.

Sinclair concludes: “Inaction and delay by successive governments have created a crisis which requires an urgent solution.”

Meanwhile David Copland, director of mortgage Services at TMA believes the Budget missed out on a replacement for the Help to Buy equity loan scheme, which is set to end in 2023.

Copland outlined the importance of bringing in measures to support first-time buyers over the next 12-months.

Copland also noted the Chancellor’s lack of plans to remove stamp duty tax for first-time buyers.

He said: “In the coming months, I hope to see an extensive government review of the current stamp duty rules for first-time buyers – and potentially even downsizers.

“This should help restore market activity, freeing up much needed housing stock, and helping more borrowers take their first steps on the housing ladder, without facing a wave of extra costs.”

Steve Seal, managing director of Bluestone Mortgages also outlined the lack of a replacement scheme for Help to Buy as an area which was overlooked in the Budget.

Additionally, Seal believes that the government needs to adequately financially invest in tackling the lack of suitable housing stock for those intending to use the Help to Buy scheme.

Seal believes that the average age of a first-time buyer is rising as people are intending to purchase larger homes that they can grow into, in order to avoid stamp duty, which in turn affects the second steppers market.

Nigel Purves, chief operating officer at Wayhome similarly believes that housing was overlooked in the Budget.

Purves said: “It would be surprising if Coronavirus hadn’t dominated Rishi Sunak’s first Budget – considering the scale of its contagion in recent weeks.

“However, as the chancellor said, ‘Coronavirus is not the only challenge facing the country’ and while he’s cut taxes and turned on infrastructure spending taps, it’s clear that not enough has been done for housing.”

Purves outlines that ‘reluctant renters’, indicated as people unable to buy a suitable property appropriate for their needs, were skipped over in the Budget.

He added: “Building new homes is one thing – but with demand rising, there needs to be a concerted effort to help people get on the path to homeownership.”

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