Right to Buy scheme revival slammed as ‘crazy idea’ by readers

Cameron pledges to extend Thatcher right-to-buy policy

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson is looking to introduce a Margaret Thatcher-style scheme to help millions of Britons get on the property ladder. The Right to Buy proposal will allow 2.5 million households in England the opportunity to purchase their homes from housing associations at a discounted price.

In addition, billions of pounds paid by the Government in housing benefits could be used to help recipients secure mortgages.

Mr Johnson told officials to develop plans last month to help support “generation rent”.

In a poll that ran from 10am on Tuesday, May 3, to midday on Tuesday, May 10, Express.co.uk asked: “Should Boris Johnson revive the Right to Buy scheme?”

In total, 1,050 readers cast their votes with the dominant response – 62 percent (646 people) being “no”, Mr Johnson should not revive the Right to Buy scheme.

Meanwhile, 38 percent (397 people) said “yes”, the Right to Buy scheme should be revived.

A further seven people said they did not know either way.

Dozens of comments were left below the accompanying article with readers sharing their thoughts on the Right to Buy scheme.

Many were concerned about the low number of council properties in the UK, like username ChwaraeTeg, who said: “Thatcher’s ‘Right to Buy scheme’ decimated council housing stock.”

And username Tolstoi said: “No. Until we have a much increased social housing stock then all council house sales should be stopped.”

And username LozzyS said: “Crazy idea, surely this will just add to the lack of affordable housing and make people’s lives a misery, especially the homeless, there isn’t enough affordable housing as it is.”

Chief executive of homelessness charity Shelter Polly Neate said the policy was a “hare-brained idea” and was “the opposite of what the country needs”.

She said: “There could not be a worse time to sell off what remains of our last truly affordable social homes.”

Other readers were more positive about the scheme in their comments.

Username RonniePotter said: “Everything that is done to get people owning their own house is exactly what is needed. 

“However, I agree the money from the sale should be reinvested in new housing.”

And username SKAR wrote: “Yes. But replace houses sold.”

The proposal for the revival of the Right to Buy scheme was included in the 2015 Tory election manifesto.

A Government source told the Telegraph last week that plans have been in consideration for several weeks.

They said: “The Prime Minister has got very excited about this. It could be hugely significant.

“In many ways it is a direct replica of the great Maggie idea of ‘buy your own council flat’.

“It is ‘buy your own housing association flat’.”

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Margaret Thatcher introduced a similar policy in 1980 that allowed council tenants to purchase their properties at a discounted rate.

Some readers felt positive about Ms Thatcher’s Right to Buy scheme, like username BROX77, who said: “I’ve no issue with the right to buy. I bought mine under Thatcher and I’m still there. Why not, best thing I did back in the day.”

The scheme brought a wave of social mobility alongside but decreased social housing stock.

Its revival could help the Conservatives’ levelling up aims but Labour has branded the plan as “desperate”.

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