- Prime Minister gave keynote speech on how the government is getting on with the job and delivering on its commitments, 7 months after the election
- Plans for a major expansion of shared ownership – opening the door to 175,000 aspiring homeowners announced
- PM: I want to show that this is a government that delivers – and that’s exactly how we mean to go on
The Prime Minister today (7 December) delivered a speech on how the government is getting on with the job and delivering on its manifesto commitments to provide real security and opportunity at every stage of life.
Delivered just 7 months after the election, the speech set out how the government is pressing ahead with major commitments – including the delivery of free childcare, 3 million new apprenticeships, a crackdown on coasting schools and affordable homes to unlock home ownership to hundreds of thousands.
The government is also pressing ahead with more recent commitments too, including the National Living Wage.
In the speech, the Prime Minister said:
A manifesto shouldn’t be a wish-list; it should be a checklist. And that’s why, since the election, we haven’t been taking off in in a new direction, but marking off the commitments we made.
Today, I want to set out the progress we’re making. I want to go back to that opening page and show that this is a government that delivers and is accountable as it endeavours to do so.
Major expansion to shared ownership
Among the measures set out by the Prime Minister were plans to radically re-invent the shared ownership scheme – opening the door to an extra 175,000 aspiring homeowners and helping to deliver commitment to create 1 million more homeowners over the next five years.
In a major expansion to the scheme – which allows people to part buy, part rent properties, increasing their ownership over time – the government will be putting an end to restrictions that stop people using the scheme more than once.
This means that for the first time, those already in a shared ownership property will be able to move to another –allowing them to use the capital they have gained to move to a bigger property, as their families grow or circumstances change.
The government will also be changing old-fashioned rules that dictate that only those in certain professions such as key workers or those that live in certain areas could own a shared ownership property – locking out thousands from home ownership.
Instead, from April 2016 anyone earning below £80,000 in England and £90,000 in London will be able to buy a stake in a property – meaning around 175,000 more people could get a roof of their own over their head.
Announcing the plans, the Prime Minister said:
For years, we’ve had Shared Ownership, where you part-buy, part-rent a property. So many people are attracted to this idea, especially those who thought they’d never have a chance of owning a home.
But, because it’s been heavily restricted, many of those people have missed out. We’ve had local councils dictating who is eligible, based on everything from salary to profession to where the buyer comes from.
From April next year, that will make 175,000 more people eligible for home ownership. It means some people will be able to buy a house, for example, in Yorkshire, with a deposit of just £1,400.
It will be opened up to people of any occupation, the only restriction being that you have to earn under £80,000, and £90,000 in London.
Yet again, a government that delivers, building a nation of homeowners.
Other announcements to press ahead with delivering the government’s commitments announced included:
Speeding up delivery of discounted Starter Homes for first time buyers
With an £8 million fund for councils to prepare land that’s lying unused for the first wave of new homes. This money will get shovels in the ground on 27 starter homes sites across the country – opening up the new style homes to first time buyers as soon as possible.
Delivering childcare that works for hardworking families
The government is delivering on its commitment to give 30 hours of free childcare to working families – worth £5,000 per child – and today can announce that around 5,000 children will benefit from the free childcare a year earlier in local areas next year. The Prime Minister will also announce the launch of a consultation giving childcare providers the right to request the use of school facilities when schools are not using them. This will open up good quality, affordable childcare for parents at either end of the school day and school holidays – taking pressure off budgets and helping them plan for the future. The consultation launches today – seeking views from schools and childcare providers on how they can work together to make this work.
Major expansion of apprenticeships and a further crackdown on underperforming schools
Published today, the Apprenticeship 2020 vision will force large public sector bodies to employ apprentices – and make sure that they make up at least 2.3% of their workforce – creating an extra 200,000 apprentices by 2020 and forming a key part of plans to deliver 3 million new apprenticeships over the next 5 years. The Prime Minister will also announce an expansion to the government’s coasting schools programme – designed to crack down on schools that aren’t showing signs of improvement and overhaul them – starting next year. The expansion will see the powers to tackle failing and coasting schools – which currently only applies to council run schools, extended to cover academies – of which are there are more than 5,000 across the country.
Notes to editors
More than 230,000 people have also been helped into homeownership through government-backed schemes since 2010. And the number of first-time buyers is at a 7-year high with nearly 265,000 buyers in England in 2014. Mortgage approvals are up 13% on last year.
The government has also recently announced new measures that will make it easier to turn underused office buildings into new homes. Shared ownership is a way of part-owning, part-renting a property that is designed for people who would struggle to afford to buy a home outright. You can buy a stake of between 25% and 75% of the property, using a deposit and a mortgage. You then pay rent on the remaining share, which is owned by the local housing association. The rent you pay can be up to 3% of the association’s share of the property’s value. For example, if you owned a 40% share of a £150,000 property – £60,000 – the housing association would only be able to charge rent on the £90,000 share that it owns. This would be a maximum of £2,700 over the year, or up to £225 a month.