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The Guardian: "Help to Buy: MPs question £10bn cost and impact on housing shortage"

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"The government has yet to demonstrate that its flagship Help to Buy mortgage guarantee policy is providing value for money, an influential committee of MPs has found.

"The Commons public accounts committee (PAC) has warned that the scheme – under which government equity loans finance up to 20% of the purchase price of homes worth up to £600,000 – creates a medium and long-term risk to the taxpayer in the shape of a £10bn portfolio of loans that will impose a heavy administrative burden for decades to come.

"In a new report, the spending watchdog says the scheme was introduced smoothly and quickly in 2013 and helped 13,000 home-buyers within nine months.

"But it notes that Eric Pickles's Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) violated Treasury guidelines by failing to carry out any assessment of alternative options before going ahead with the scheme."

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