Up to a quarter of a million parents will be able to use savings tied up in their pension funds to secure home deposits for their children, the Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, announced yesterday.
Under the plan, unveiled at his party's conference in Brighton, workers will be able to use any lump sum element of their pension and offset it against the cost of a deposit. Party sources admitted that the details had yet to be agreed with lenders and pension fund providers, as many were cautious. Parents could lose all or part of their pension fund pot if house prices fell or children defaulted on their mortgage payments.
Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, will unveil a £1bn fund to supply loans to small businesses at the conference today. "We are so good at so many things in this country – but for too long the mirage of growth based on property speculation and financial gambling has hidden the harder virtues of making things productively," Mr Cable will say.