FIRST TIME HOME buyers will be made an absolute priority by Scottish Labour – with Moray councillor Sean Morton insisting his generation is “stuck with high rents”.
Councillor Morton is firmly in campaign mode as he readies for the Scottish Elections in May, when he will contest for the seat currently held by the SNP Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead.
The Fochabers/Lhandbryde councillor highlighted Labour’s pledge outlined this week that any person who currently saves through a first-time buyer ISA with a UK Government top-up of £3000 would be entitled to an additional £3000 from a future Scottish Labour government.
That, according to Mr Morton, would mean that the average couple in Moray who saved £100 each month would be able to save for a £15,000 home deposit inside three years.
“My generation have been priced right out of the housing market and we’re stuck with high rents,” he said, adding: “Everyone deserves a home and a chance, but too many young people in Moray are either living at home with their parents or stuck in expensive rents unable to get that first foot on the housing ladder.
“Home ownership is a big ambition for hundreds of thousands of young people including many in Moray – but for too many it remains an ambition rather than a reality. The expectations of home ownership, seen as almost a right for previous generations are out of reach for too many people. That has to change.
“Under Scottish Labour’s plan we will effectively double the help towards saving a deposit for first time buyers, investing an additional £3,000 for first time buyers saving as part of our plan.”
Highlighting that the number of Scots aged under 34 who have bought their own home with a mortgage had fallen by 15% under the current Scottish Government, Mr Morton added: “We’ll fund our promise by reversing the SNP’s plans to cut Air Passenger Duty.
“A tax cut costs money, and we think that money would be better spent helping make the aspirations of young people in Moray a reality rather than making a plane ticket cheaper. Richard Lochhead must make clear whether or not he backs this plan to give young people a chance to get on in life.
“Our plan will give young people a leg up onto the housing ladder but also encourages them to save over three years. Scottish Labour will use the new powers coming to Scotland to reject austerity and give young people in Moray the chance to turn aspirations of home ownership into reality.”