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UK Finance represents around 300 firms in the UK providing credit, banking, markets and payment-related services. The new organisation takes on most of the activities previously carried out by the Asset Based Finance Association, the British Bankers’ Association, the Council of Mortgage Lenders, Financial Fraud Action UK, Payments UK and the UK Cards Association. Please go to www.ukfinance.org.uk for wider content and updates from UK Finance.

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Chancellor hails Help to Buy ISA as "spectacular success"

Week in Westminster

Published: 22 January 2016 | Author: Michelle Vosper

During Treasury questions this week the chancellor hailed the Help to Buy ISA as a “spectacular success” with 170,000 families having taken it up since its launch on 1 December 2015.

Answering a question on whether the stamp duty surcharge on the buy-to-let market will inhibit or advance labour mobility, Mr Osborne said he thought the proposal would help promote home ownership. “There is nothing wrong with people investing in property, but there should be a level playing field so that we reverse the decline in home ownership in our country”, he said.

Staying on the subject of home ownership, the Scottish government announced £160 million of new funding on home ownership schemes during 2016/17. Half of the funds will be allocated to the Open Market Shared Equity Scheme, with the other £80 million to the Help to Buy (Scotland): Affordable Home Ownership scheme. The latter will be open for applications on 1 March.

As for the private rented sector, the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee supported the general principles of the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill in its Stage 1 report for the Scottish Parliament. The Bill intends to create a new tenancy regime for the private rented sector. The Bill was then considered by the Scottish Parliament during its Stage 1 debate and agreed to following a vote.

And the Renting Homes (Wales) Bill received royal assent this week. This is one of the most significant pieces of legislation to be passed by the National Assembly for Wales. The Act will replace the majority of current tenancies and licences with two types of contract – one for the private rented sector and one for social housing.