Michael Gove defends missed housing targets as he claims getting onto property ladder will be easier under Tories

20 June 2024, 08:26

Michael Gove said the Conservatives would make it easier to buy housing
Michael Gove said the Conservatives would make it easier to buy housing. Picture: LBC/Alamy

By Kit Heren

Michael Gove has defended the Conservatives' record on housing, claiming that getting onto the property ladder would be easier if his party were re-elected.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The Housing Secretary told LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast: "Did we try everything we could? Yes. "Did we succeed a lot of the time? Yes. Were there some things that we didn't quite deliver? Absolutely."

The Tories promise to deliver 1.6 million homes and permanently abolish stamp duty for homes up to £425,000 for first-time buyers in their manifesto.

The Conservatives also say they will bring in a new Help to Buy scheme with 5% deposits to save first-time buyers up front costs.

But the government previously missed its target of building 300,000 new homes a year.

Read more: Why are neither of the major parties talking about housing during this General Election?

Read more: Keir Starmer promises no capital gains tax on sales of homes as he dismisses tax hike claims

Michael Gove on how people are meant to afford a deposit for a house now

Mr Gove admitted this was true, but added: "Overall, we built in our time in government significantly more homes than Labour did. I think there was only one year when we were in power when we built fewer homes than Labour built in any year that they were in power."

Asked if his argument was that the Conservatives were bad, but not as bad as Labour, Mr Gove said this was a glass half-empty" approach.

He added: "Well, we're all fallen creatures in an imperfect world... but I would say in football terms, we have been the arsenal of housebuilding and Labour have been the QPR."

The Conservatives have claimed that by failing to back the plans in their manifesto, a Labour government would increase stamp duty for first-time buyers from next April.

The party claims that, assuming a similar number of transactions next year as in 2022/23, this would mean more than 200,000 buyers will see an average tax increase of £3,500 when they purchase their first home under Labour.

Watch Again: Nick Ferrari is joined by Levelling Up and Housing Secretary Michael Gove | 20/06/24

The Labour manifesto's only reference to stamp duty is that the party would use revenue from increasing stamp duty on purchases of residential property by non-UK residents by 1% to appoint 300 new planning officers.

The Tories' "plan for home-ownership" will, the party maintains, help hundreds of thousands on to the property ladder.

The package includes raising the thresholds for paying any stamp duty to £425,000 from £300,000 for first-time buyers and raising the thresholds for accessing stamp duty relief to £625,000 from £500,000 for first-time buyers.

It also pledges to reform EU "red tape" and "look at" creating a tax incentive for developers to build on brownfield sites that have laid dormant for years.

Nick Ferrari asks Michael Gove about the Tories' declining poll ratings

A Labour spokesman said: "This reeks of desperation from the Tories.

"Jeremy Hunt has admitted the Conservatives' tax cuts are completely unfunded, which will risk putting mortgages up again by £4,800.

"Over 14 years, the Tories have completely failed on housing, and homeownership has become a pipedream for most working families.

"Rishi Sunak has himself admitted it has become 'harder' to own a home under his government and no amount of baseless mudslinging can alter that fact.

"Labour will turn the page on this Conservative chaos.

"Our plans will get Britain building and help working families onto the housing ladder, with first dibs for first-time buyers and a new Freedom to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Mark Rowley says the number of officers in the Met is falling

Met Police officer numbers drop as force calls for 'thousands of applicants' in new recruitment drive

Joe Biden has tested positive for Covid

Joe Biden cancels campaign event after testing positive for Covid-19

Starmer is set to push for a migrant return deal with the EU

Starmer to push for new migrant return deal with EU, as he seeks to 'renew UK's relationship with Europe' at summit

Keir Starmer faces a challenge over the two-child benefit cap

Keir Starmer seeks to stave off Labour backbench revolt over benefit cap with child poverty taskforce

A man has been shot dead in Kirkby

Man shot dead on residential street close to Liverpool training ground, as police launch murder investigation

Joe Biden has hinted he could step aside from the race against Donald Trump for the White House

Biden hints he could quit election race against Trump on medical advice, as top Democrat calls for him to stand down

The scandal surrounding Strictly Come Dancing has deepened after footage showing former professional dancer James Jordan telling his celebrity partner Georgina Bouzova "kill you" surfaced on social media.

Strictly scandal deepens as footage showing ex-pro telling partner he will 'kill her' emerges

Liz Truss

Reference to Truss' 'disaster' mini-budget removed from King's Speech files after ex-PM complains to civil service chief

Police found "over a dozen" firearms at Crooks' home

Thomas Crooks' father 'called police on the day of the Trump rally shooting'

Cameron Jones left his dying fiancee Demi by the side of the road

Moment driver flees from car wreckage leaving fiancee to die - before he later blames her for horror crash

Kim Johnson wants the two-child benefit cap to be scrapped

Labour MP calls for two-child benefit cap to be axed as she plans King's Speech amendment after policy retained

Adele has played 90 shows in Las Vegas

Adele announces she is stepping back from music after growing to ‘absolutely hate’ fame

Two British travel agents are believed to be the pair found shot dead and their bodies burned in a car in Malmo.

British travel agents thought to be pair shot dead and burned in car in Malmo

Two dead and two children in hospital after house fire in Blackpool

Two die and two children rushed to hospital after house fire in Blackpool

Locals have been warned to avoid the area

Locals warned 'do not open your doors' as huge fire erupts on Birmingham industrial estate

Joe Biden his facing pressure to step down ahead of November's election.

Joe Biden wrongly claims he will cap rent rises at $55 in latest gaffe