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Welsh Government is dragging its heels over mortgage guarantee scheme for first time home buyers says Assembly Member

February 1, 2013 1:06 PM

The Welsh Labour Government has been accused of bad faith and of dragging its heels over introducing a new Welsh mortgage guarantee scheme designed to increase the supply of affordable homes and improve access to home ownership support after the First Minister indicated that it will be summer 2013 before applications for assistance under the scheme can be considered.

Labour Ministers committed to the scheme in May 2012 as part of the budget deal with the Welsh Liberal Democrats but have taken months to draw up the details despite the fact that England has been offering support for a number of years and a comparable scheme is operating in six Welsh local authorities already.

Recently the Housing Minister indicated that a Welsh Government scheme will be up and running by spring of this year, but in a letter to Welsh Liberal Democrats Housing Spokesperson, Peter Black yesterday, the First Minister indicated that this timetable has now slipped again to the summer.

"I am disappointed at the way that the Welsh Government is dragging its heels over introducing this scheme to help first time home buyers," said Mr. Black. "I appreciate that it can be complex but there seems to be no sense of urgency or purpose on behalf of Ministers and their officials in delivering on the policy. Nor do they seem to want to take advantage of lessons learned on schemes already running so as to short circuit their own over long processes.

"Whilst Welsh Labour Ministers dither, first time home buyers continue to struggle to get onto the housing market, and house builders are being put off committing to building much needed homes because of the difficulties of selling them.

"I am particularly concerned at the bad faith demonstrated by the Welsh Government in delaying the implementation of this scheme. It was agreed as part of a budget deal with the Welsh Liberal Democrats and I believe it would have been reasonable for them to have delivered on their promise soon afterwards. However, it now seems that the delay in implementation is going to be more than a year, if it happens at all. That is not good enough."

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