David Cameron’s Conservative party needs to get the working class on its side to win more votes.
The latest polls by Populus and Lord Ashcroft puts the the Tories and opposition party Labour neck and neck at 33%. Only the ICM poll published yesterday showed Tories are in a six point lead ahead of the General Election in May.
And Cameron is going to try and do this by channelling a flagship policy used by the former prime minister Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.
When the Tories unveil its General Election manifesto later today, Cameron will pledge to extend the right-to-buy scheme for tenants that are living with the “housing association” in England. People who live in housing association properties are those who need low-cost “social housing” because they either earn too little or are too poor to afford regular housing on market rental rates. These are run by private, non-profit making organisations.
The scheme will mean around 1.3 million tenants could get onto the housing ladder by buying their homes at a discount, the Conservatives will say.
Meanwhile, the Tories will also promise to help build 400,000 new homes to alleviate the housing shortage across the country. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) warned last year that 240,000 properties need to be built annually, in order to accommodate rising demand across the country.
Unfortunately, over the last 14 years, only 200,000 homes have been delivered annually in four periods.
Currently, only people living in council houses, which are owned by the government, are entitled to enter the Right to Buy scheme. They can purchase their homes at a discounted rate, which stands at a maximum discount of £77,900 across England and at £103,900 across London.
Scotland is abolishing the scheme and Wales is looking to do the same.
Meanwhile, the new Conservative pledge for housing association tenants will mean Britons will be able to buy their homes at the same discount granted for council tenants.
Although around 800,000 housing association tenants have a “right to acquire” their homes, the discount is smaller.
The soaring price of UK property is hindering the poor from owning their homes.
The Office for National Statistics data showed UK house prices increased by 8.4% in the year to January 2015, down from 9.8% in the year to December 2014.
The average UK house price, excluding London, in January 2015 was £208,000. Meanwhile, the average London house price stood at £510,000.