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Boris Johnson plans to extend purchase rights to low-income workers

Boris Johnson plans to extend the right to buy to millions of low-wage workers

Mr Johnson will pledge to “enact reforms that will help people cut costs in all areas of household spending” in the coming weeks (Image: Getty/Rex)

Boris Johnson will set out plans for lower-paid workers to use their housing funds to buy their homes and an extension of the right to buy for housing association tenants.

The Prime Minister is expected to reiterate his intentions in a big speech on Thursday as he seeks to repair his fortune after a painful Tory revolt against his leadership.

He hopes pledges to help individuals climb the property ladder will please rebellious MPs and voters who are facing new pressures from the cost-of-living crisis.

In his Lancashire speech, Mr Johnson will commit to “enacting reforms that will help people cut costs in all areas of household spending” in the coming weeks.

He will argue that £30billion in housing benefit, currently used for rent, could help people secure and pay mortgages, according to the Times, which first reported on the plan.

The policy was described by a Tory minister as “bricks perks”, adding that it would enable young people to pass the affordability tests needed to get a mortgage.

More than three million people can apply for housing benefit, with a large number of people also receiving rent support through Universal Credit.

But the newspaper said its separate desire to allow millions of renters to pay for housing association properties at discounts of up to 70% is likely to be limited to a series of pilot projects without additional government funding for now.

However, the plan could differ from Margaret Thatcher’s original Buyers’ Rights policy with a possible obligation to ensure that any home purchased under the program is replaced to ensure stocks are not depleted.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street to go to the Prime Minister's Questions session on June 8, 2022 in London, Britain. REUTERS/Toby Melville

The Prime Minister is hoping pledges to help individuals up the property ladder will please rebellious MPs and voters who are being squeezed again by the cost of living crisis (Image: Reuters)

Shadow Secretary Jess Phillips was among those questioning how housing benefit policy will work, as people with savings and investments in excess of £16,000 are not eligible for Universal Credit.

“It’s almost as if Boris Johnson doesn’t do much welfare work,” the Labor MP quipped.

The challenge could become even clearer if another petrol price hike on Thursday takes the average cost of a full tank for a 55-litre family car to more than £100 for the first time.

In his speech, Mr Johnson will say: “We have the tools we need to get a grip on rising prices.

“The global headwinds are strong, but our engines are stronger.

“And while it won’t be quick or easy, you can have confidence that things are getting better, that we’re going to emerge from this country as a strong country with a healthy economy.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits the CityFibre Training Academy in Stockton-on-Tees, Darlington. Picture date: Friday May 27, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Johnson. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Mr Johnson will reportedly confirm his intention to give housing association tenants the right to buy their homes (Image: PA)

On Wednesday, the prime minister said the government would “expand home ownership for millions of people” as he vowed to proceed despite the turmoil in No10.

Downing Street’s press release, issued ahead of the speech, gave few details about the plans, but Mr Johnson will reportedly confirm his intention to give housing association tenants the right to buy their homes.

Suggestions for renters to be able to buy their council housing at a discount are not new and appeared in David Cameron’s 2015 Conservative Manifesto.

After that pledge fell through, Mr Johnson pledged to consider new pilots for the program ahead of the 2019 general election.

Encouraging a wave of modular or ‘flat pack’ homes to be built is another new measure being actively considered, but it was unclear whether the prime minister would commit to the move in his speech.

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Mr Johnson is in a battle for authority after surviving a no-confidence vote, although 148 of his own MPs – or 41% of Conservatives – say they want him out of No 10.

Aaron Bell, the Tory elected to Newcastle-under-Lyme in 2019 and among those who voted against the Prime Minister, gave Mr Johnson a year to change things, in line with the Committee’s current rules 1922 for a next leadership challenge.

“The rules say he has 12 months. I think that’s a fair assessment of the time he has to convince people he can make this round,” he told ITV’s Peston.

However, Mr Bell did not rule out colleagues asking the Tory backbench committee to change the rules to allow for an earlier vote, with a possible flash point being the by-elections in Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton later this month.

It was Sue Gray’s report on lockdown-violating parties at Downing Street that sparked the vote, but Tories on different wings of the party are angered by a range of issues.

Controversial promised legislation to repeal Northern Ireland’s protocol with the EU and high tax rates are among their concerns.

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Mr Johnson told the Prime Minister’s Questions that the government “will expand home ownership for millions of people” (Image: AFP via Getty).

Mr Johnson told the Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday that the government would “expand homeownership for millions of people” and “reduce the cost of doing business”.

Meanwhile, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) lowered its growth forecast for the UK this year to 3.64% from 4.75%, with inflation expected to peak above 10%.

The OECD said gross domestic product (GDP) growth will stagnate next year.

Data company Experian Catalist said the average price of a liter of petrol at UK filling stations hit a record 180.7p on Tuesday, with the RAC saying the 2.2p increase was the biggest daily rise in 17 years.

A further increase of just 1.2p will take the average cost of a full tank of a 55-litre family car to more than £100 for the first time.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/06/09/boris-johnson-set-to-expand-right-to-buy-scheme-to-low-paid-workers-16795493/ Boris Johnson plans to extend purchase rights to low-income workers

Justin Scacco

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