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The Sunday Times 30.10.2016. Reproduced here with kind permission of The Sunday Times newspaper.


The government’s help-tobuy scheme, announced in the budget, was rightfully criticised by many people. Various ministers seemed a little surprised, if not a bit tetchy, that fewpeople had rowed in behind their latest genius wheeze. In research carried out by Davy stockbrokers and the property website, even firsttime buyers did not expect a helpto- buy scheme (people are not too easily schmoozed these days). Two other things flew under the radar when the proposal was announced. First, the silence from retail banks was deafening, which was strange given the allegedly positive response from the Central Bank. It nowlooks as though the bank was not as “on board” with the plan as ministers made out. (The government’s own Housing Agency merely “noted” the scheme in its budget response.)