Blair hints at help for first-time property buyers

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Indy Politics

Tony Blair raised the prospect of help for first-time house buyers yesterday as he mapped out his agenda for the new political season.

Tony Blair raised the prospect of help for first-time house buyers yesterday as he mapped out his agenda for the new political season.

In a speech to staff at Labour Party headquarters, the Prime Minister promised that a wide-ranging list of proposals would be unveiled to show that his government had not run out of steam. His "prospectus" for the run-up to the general election expected next May included "increasing the supply of new housing and giving more help to people to get on the housing ladder".

First-time buyers are finding it increasingly difficult to get on the property ladder because of soaring prices. The average house price for first-time buyers is just over £100,000. Buyers aged between 18 and 30 have to provide a £20,000 deposit on average, but in London that figure can rise to more than £30,000.

Mr Blair's first speech since his summer break was aimed at showing the Government is addressing the challenges and problems that have arisen since Labour came to power.

He said: "In each case, the policies will be New Labour. They will be courageous in addressing the future by modern policy means, with no hang-ups, for example, about partnership between the public, private and voluntary sectors as appropriate, or extending rights and responsibilities together."

Another challenge was to "build a tolerant, fair and outward-looking Britain" while tackling abuses in the asylum and immigration systems and "paving the way for identity cards". His shopping list also included proposals to improve pensions provision.

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