George Osborne's 'housing revolution' election pledge

Exclusive interview: Chancellor announces election pledge to get 2.4 million first-time buyers onto the housing ladder in a 1980s-style home ownership boom

By Tim Ross, Senior Political Correspondent
10:00PM BST 04 Apr 2015

 “Who is my best friend in politics?” George Osborne asks. “David Cameron, I would say.”

The two most powerful men in Britain are godfathers to each other’s children and have been close since entering Parliament together in 2001.

“He is someone I trust and whose judgment I absolutely rely on. Living in Downing Street, you share a lot of similar experiences and pressures.”

PENSIONS REVOLUTION

Mr Osborne argues that his bold new home ownership targets fit with the party’s record of radical reforms intended to put more people in charge of their own assets.

This week, two million over-55s with a collective £140 billion of pension savings will get unprecedented new freedoms to access their money and spend it as they wish.

Instead of being forced to buy annuities, which can offer poor value, they will be able to put the money towards other types of investment, such as buy-to-let homes.

Mr Osborne urges savers to “go and explore this new world” of control over their money on what has been labelled “pension freedom day” on Monday.

“Many people will have assumed they have to buy an annuity,” Mr Osborne says. “That’s not the case anymore.” But he adds: “Take your time. You don’t have to make this decision today or tomorrow.”


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