CBI calls for Govt to ‘supercharge’ housing schemes and introduce housing Isa

The Confederation of British Industry is calling on the Government to “supercharge” its housing schemes and introduce a dedicated Isa for housing deposits in the Budget.

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In its Budget submission, published today, the CBI calls for NewBuy to be extended beyond new homes to help second steppers and those in negative equity.

In a letter to chancellor George Osborne it states: “The demand-side measures the Government has put in place over the past 18 months are beginning to work, by decreasing the rates on high loan to value mortgages.

“We think there is room to supercharge some of these short-term measures – for example by looking at extending NewBuy to second steppers with limited or negative equity, as well as establishing a new ‘deposit Isa’.”

The CBI says a housing Isa would be intended to be used exclusively to save for a deposit and have a tax-free limit equivalent to the average deposit. It argues it would help combat the perception that deposits are unaffordable for first-time buyers. It is also calling for more “proactive marketing” to combat a lack of awareness around NewBuy and FirstBuy schemes.

The Building Societies Association agrees that there is a lack of awareness around schemes and backs the creation of a dedicated housing deposit Isa. It also wants more “rationalised” schemes that are “clearly signposted” through a housing portal where consumers can get advice on their options for various schemes.

The BSA also wants the creation of a and cross-departmental minister of state for housing, possibly sitting in the Cabinet Office and responsible for a more ambitious and joined up approach to housing policy.