Lewis Macdonald pledges help for first time buyers

North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald today backed the party’s first manifesto pledge ahead of May’s Scottish Parliament election, to effectively double the help first time buyers currently receive towards saving for a deposit.

Under Scottish Labour’s plan a person who currently saves through a first-time buyer ISA with a government top up to the value of £3,000 would be entitled to an additional £3,000 from a Scottish Labour Government to help toward the cost of a deposit to buy a property.

This means that the average couple in Aberdeen, each saving £100 a month, would be able to save for a £15,000 deposit within three years.

Under the SNP Government the number of people in Scotland aged 34 and younger who have bought their own home with a mortgage has fallen by 15%.

Just 28% of those aged 16-34 in Scotland now own their home with a mortgage – the lowest level since the Scottish Parliament was established in 1999.

Lewis Macdonald said today:

“Everyone deserves a home, but too many young people in Aberdeen are stuck in expensive rents unable to get that first foot on the housing ladder.

“Home ownership is a big ambition for thousands of young people in Aberdeen, but for too many it remains a dream rather than a reality.

“The expectation of home ownership, seen as almost a right for previous generations, is out of reach for too many people. That has to change.

“Under Scottish Labour's plan we will effectively double the help for young people trying to save for a deposit, investing an additional £3,000 for first time buyers saving as part of our plan.

“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 Aberdeen a reality rather than making a plane ticket cheaper.

“Scottish Labour will use the new powers coming to Scotland to reject austerity and to give young people in Aberdeen the chance to plan for a future that involves living in their own home.”

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