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The Budget will push up house prices – helping out homeowners and propping up the banks

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The housing crisis is at once a political and an economic problem. It is political because the Conservatives have a deep-rooted psychic attachment to homeownership. As such, they remain hellbent on remaining the party that champions it at all costs; if the British dream collapses, they fear nobody will vote for them. It is an economic problem because homeownership has become increasingly unfordable and, therefore, unattainable for many people in recent years.

So, it is hardly surprising that in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s coronavirus recovery Budget he revealed two housing policies – both aimed at homeowners. Yet, despite a slight increase in Local Housing Allowance (how housing benefit is calculated through Universal Credit) last year, 715,326 households in the private rented sector who receive Universal Credit can’t cover their rent due to the shortfall between housing benefit and average rental prices across the country, according to analysis by the lobby group Generation Rent.

Standing before the Commons, Sunak announced that last year’s stamp duty holiday would be extended until........

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