Emailed in by Lola from CityWire:
Pensions minister Richard Harrington has said people should be able to use retirement savings to buy a house.
Speaking to New Model Adviser® at the Tory Party conference in Birmingham, Harrington, who was appointed as pensions minister in the summer following Theresa May’s post-Brexit vote reshuffle, said there is an ‘arbitrary’ line between saving for retirement and house purchase.
‘For most people there are two steps in their life [house purchase and retirement] and I think it is legitimate that the government should help with both,’ he said.
Previous Chancellor George Osborne had started gently swimming against the tide with his restriction for interest relief on BTLs and the extra 3% for buying second and further homes, but this man clearly is an utter, utter dickhead.
Sure, most people starting out in life would like to buy/own their own home rather than renting; and sure, retirees with some savings want to collect as much investment income as possible, whether that's dividends or rent from those people who would rather buy/own.
So it is a straight fight between young/poor and old/wealthy over available housing and it is impossible for the government to “help” (NewSpeak for subsidise) both sides as the effects cancel out! It's like sending weapons to opposing armies; good for weapons manufacturers and nobody else.
It would be a lot cheaper (for the taxpayer) and simpler to “help” neither side (again, current Chancellor Philip Hammond has had an outbreak of common sense and will shut down the Help To Buy subsidy at the end of this year) with a resulting fall in house prices. Win win win!