Conservatives accuse Labour of hushing up damning HIP report

The government has been accused of keeping research on Home Information Packs under wraps to avoid bad publicity.

The Conservative Party says the government has sat on research carried out by GFK NOP because it confirms that consumers and estate agents think the packs are worthless.

Grant Shapps, Conservative shadow minister for housing, says: “Labour has been caught red-handed trying to hide a damning indictment of this pointless and expensive piece of red tape.

“One year on and the public does not trust the paper these packs are written on.”

Shapps adds: “HIPs have served to increase the cost of buying and selling property, duplicated surveys and discouraged speculative sellers.” The survey polled some 3,600 home buyers, sellers and estate agents to quiz them about their opinion of grant shappships are pointlessthe packs.

It also sought to ascertain the general level of awareness and knowledge about HIPs.

It found that most consumers do not understand the packs and that the majority of agents think they are of no benefit and are a waste of time.

But a spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government says: “It is wrong to make general claims about the way HIPs are working based on this document.”