Page last updated at 15:28 GMT, Wednesday, 2 April 2008 16:28 UK

First-time buyer grant dismissed

Houses under construction - generic
Plans to boost the number of houses were welcomed

Proposals for a 2,000 grant for first-time home buyers in Scotland have been rejected in a public consultation.

Most thought the grant - an SNP election manifesto pledge - was too small and would push up house prices.

The comments came in response to the Scottish Governnemt's proposed new housing strategy.

Holyrood ministers will hold talks with councils on the future of housing, before announcing their "broad direction" on the issue in June.

A new research report, published by the government after the release of its Firm Foundations draft housing policy last year, concluded: "A majority of respondents were opposed to the suggestion that all first-time buyers should be given a 2,000 grant to assist with buying a home.

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"It was felt the amount proposed in grant was too small to make a significant difference to a household's capacity to purchase a home, and that it was likely any such grant would simply feed through into increased prices."

Analysis of 387 responses to the housing plans also found "strong support" for the proposal to building 35,000 new homes a year by the middle of the next decade.

There was "almost total" support for scrapping the right to buy for new-build social housing - and many respondents thought there should be further restrictions on the policy.


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