Prescott to curb Right to Buy next week

Council tenants will see their dreams of owning their homes dashed next week when John Prescott curbs the Right to Buy scheme.

Sources in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister say Mr Prescott will next week announce plans to halve discounts in property hotspots, claiming the action is necessary to stop developers.

The moves, revealed in Mortgage Strategy magazine earlier last year, have already sparked panic buying by tenants desperate to become owners before the crackdown takes effect.

So far 1.7million tenants have taken advantage of the scheme since it was introduced in the early 1980s.

Tenants currently qualify for discounts of up to £38,000 in the South East and up to £22,000 in the North East. But under the new plans councils will have to limit price reductions to less than £20,000.