Dumbarton Constituency MSP, Jackie Baillie, has backed a recommendation from Scottish Labour’s Housing Commission to scrap and replace the Help to Buy scheme. The housing commission recommended replacing the current scheme with a more targeted scheme to help first time buyers on lower incomes.

The Help to Buy scheme, established by the Coalition Tory-Lib Dem government and passed on to Scotland by the SNP, has been heavily criticised for handing out state support to households on over £100,000 per year to buy a property.

Under the current scheme, first time buyers can use the Help to Buy Scheme to purchase only new build homes. The mean household income of those participating in the scheme in 2016/17 was £41,000, more than £15,000 higher than Scotland’s average household income.

Scottish Labour’s Housing Commission has recommended scrapping the current scheme in favour of a new scheme, which would be targeted at first time buyers on low incomes, and allowing them to buy existing homes as well as new build properties.

Jackie said:

“The current Help to Buy scheme simply isn’t helping enough young people. It is increasingly becoming a windfall for private housing developers.

“Getting a foot on the housing ladder is harder than ever for Scotland’s young people. Too many people on lower incomes are stuck in a vicious cycle – they can’t afford a deposit or access to social housing so they are stuck paying sky high rent, making it impossible to save for a home of their own.

“Scottish Labour has already committed to making ending the housing crisis a priority of our government, with more homes for social rent, and real and radical reforms to the private rented sector.

“I think implementing the recommendations of the Housing Commission is key to helping young people get onto the housing ladder.”

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