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Gordon Brown confident about UK economy

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has brushed off talk of a crisis in the economy and says that figures from the Halifax showing a 2.5% drop in house prices should be looked at in perspective.

Speaking in a BBC interview, Brown says: “We’ve seen house prices rise by about 180% over the last 10 years, so a 2.5% drop is something that is containable.

“The issue is, can we ensure that growth is maintained in this economy, that we can get the housing market to continue to move forward?”

He tells the BBC this is why the government has introduced shared equity schemes for first-time buyers.

The plans are based on £3m investment in shared housing that Brown hopes will help first-time buyers get on the housing ladder.

The cash injection will come in the form of £1,500 grants to help with legal fees and furniture.

They are being offered in conjunction with the Open Market HomeBuy scheme that helps key workers and some first-time buyers.

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