Local MSP Jackie Baillie backed Scottish Labour’s first manifesto pledge ahead of May’s vote, to effectively double the help first time buyers currently receive towards saving for a deposit.
Under Scottish Labour’s plan a person who currently saves through a first-time buyer ISA with a government top up to the value of £3,000 would be entitled to an additional £3,000 from a Scottish Labour Government to help toward the cost of a deposit to buy a property.
This means that the average couple in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh each saving £100 a month would be able to have a £15,000 deposit within three years.
Under the SNP Government the number of people in Scotland aged 34 and younger who have bought their own home has fallen by 15%. Just 28% of those aged 16-34 in Scotland now own their home with a mortgage -; the lowest level since the Scottish Parliament was established in 1999.
House prices in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh have risen between £2,200 – £5,800 on average over the past 12 months and Jackie says now is the time to give more help to first time buyers.
“With the average house price ranging from £130,000 to £210,000 in different parts of Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensurgh, too many local young people are either living at home with their parents or stuck in expensive rents unable to get that first foot on the housing ladder.
“Home ownership is a big ambition for hundreds of thousands of young people in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh but for too many it remains an ambition rather than a reality.
“The expectation of home ownership, seen as almost a right for previous generations is out of reach for too many people. That has to change.
“Under Scottish Labour’s plan we will effectively double the help towards saving a deposit for first time buyers, investing an additional £3,000 as part of our plan.
“We’ll fund our promise by reversing the SNP’s plans to cut air passenger duty. A tax cut costs money, and we think that money would be better spent helping make the aspirations of young people in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh a reality rather than making a plane ticket cheaper.
“Our plan will give young people a leg up onto the housing ladder but also encourages them to save over three years. Scottish Labour will use the new powers coming to Scotland to reject austerity and give young people in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute the chance to turn aspirations of home ownership into reality