UK minister calls for review of 'Help to Buy' scheme

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 22, 2013 4:51 PM
UK minister calls for review of 'Help to Buy' scheme

(Reuters) - The UK's business minister has called for a rethink of the government's "Help to Buy" scheme because of concerns over a housing boom in London and South East England.

"We certainly need to look at that (scheme) again. It was conceived in very different circumstances," Vince Cable said on BBC television's Andrew Marr show.

"If you don't increase the interest rate ... this boom that's taking place in house prices gets out of control and the only people who can afford to live in large parts of London are foreigners and bankers," Cable said.

Cable's comments came after the deputy head of the Bank of England, the central bank, said in a separate interview it was watching Britain's housing market closely.

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The "Help to Buy" program, which provides government-backed low-deposit mortgages, is aimed at making it easier for first-time buyers to own a house.

(Reporting by Tasim Zahid in Bangalore; editing by Andrew Roche)