'Hundreds of millions of pounds of public money has been given to thousands of wealthy homeowners under a flagship Government scheme designed to help first-time buyers, new analysis has revealed.
'More than 5,500 homeowners earning above £100,000 a year have benefitted from taxpayer-funded Help to Buy loans that are aimed at helping people get on the housing ladder, according to The Independent’s analysis of government data.
Since the scheme was introduced in 2013, 5,545 households with an income of more than £100,000 received Help to Buy loans, including 1,287 households that already owned a property.
If households earning above £100,000 received the same size loan on average as other groups, they would have received at least £280m of public money in the last five years. However, wealthier households are likely to purchase more expensive properties that require bigger loans, meaning the real sum is likely to be even higher.
The Government’s own 2016 assessment of the £7.3bn Help to Buy scheme found existing homeowners received an average loan of £52,833 – significantly more than the £39,907 average for first-time buyers.
Help to Buy provides loans to potential buyers, enabling them to purchase a new-build property with just a 5 per cent deposit. Critics, however, say the scheme drives up house prices and does not help those who need it most.'
Read more: Wealthy homeowners received millions in public money under Government scheme to help first-time buyers
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