Extra help for first-time buyers

Housing minister Margaret Beckett announced the government has promised an extra £100 million to help first-time buyers get on the property ladder. Mrs Beckett, determined to provide ‘real help’ for families in the current difficult economic climate, increased the amount available by £100 million, to give households with incomes below £60,000 the chance to buy a new home with the help of a shared equity loan which is free of charge of five years. More than 130 developers have agreed to take part, and it is hoped that 18,000 first-time buyers will benefit. Opponents have accused the government of being irresponsible and first-time buyers of being ‘bribed’.