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Osborne makes 'housing revolution' election pledge

George Osborne has pledged a 'housing revolution' if the Tories win. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

A Conservative government would aim to double the number of first-time buyers by 2020, the Chancellor has declared.

George Osborne promised a "revolution" in home ownership if the party returns to power on May 7 that would fuel a return to the levels seen in the 1980s.

Labour claims the country's housing shortage is being fuelled by Coalition schemes such as Help to Buy while no action is being taken to boost supply.

Yesterday the party unveiled plans to take the new ISA scheme for first-time buyers announced by Osborne in the Budget and use it to finance wide-scale house building.

1.2m
The number of first-time purchases made since 2010
2.4m
The number George Osborne wants over the next five years

But Osborne told The Sunday Telegraph he was determined to push even harder to open home ownership to more people, with as many as one million enjoying direct government help to purchase properties over the next parliament.

I think we can deliver a revolution in home ownership. We want to see a massive increase in the number of people who can own their own home because home ownership is an absolutely core Conservative belief and aspiration that we support.

I would like to see us double the number of first time buyers up to half-a-million. That is the kind of level we saw in the 1980s. There is no reason why our country can't achieve that again.

That's a goal we set ourselves today.

– Chancellor George Osborne

Shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds said: "More warm words on housing from the Chancellor will be cold comfort to the record number of young people and families priced out of home ownership over the past five years.

"Under this Tory-led government we've seen the lowest levels of housebuilding in peacetime since the 1920s and home ownership has fallen to a 30-year low."

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