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Cameron to pledge right-to-buy extension

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British Prime Minister David Cameron at Asian Lite office in Manchester. Photo Arun Jacob Thomas
British Prime Minister David Cameron. Photo Arun Jacob Thomas
British Prime Minister David Cameron. Photo Arun Jacob Thomas

The next Conservative government would extend the right-to-buy scheme for housing association tenants in England, David Cameron will say, as he unveils his party’s general election manifesto.

The PM will say up to 1.3 million tenants could buy their homes at a discount as a result, insisting the Tories are the party of working people reports BBC.

The Conservatives will also pledge a fund to help build 400,000 new homes.

Labour said the right-to-buy pledge would cost £4.5bn and was “unfunded”.

The Conservative launch in Wiltshire comes the day after Ed Miliband put forward Labour’s version- promising to improve the lives of Britain’s workers and not to pay for any policies through additional borrowing.

A key pledge of the Conservative manifesto will be the extension of right to buy, a flagship policy of Margaret Thatcher’s government in the 1980s, for tenants of housing associations – private, not-for-profit bodies that provide low-cost housing.

Under current rules, about 800,000 housing association tenants have a “right to acquire” their homes under smaller discounts, but the Conservatives would offer those people the same reductions as for those in local authority homes.

And they would extend the scheme to those who currently have no purchase rights at all, estimated to be about 500,000 people.

The move would be funded by new rules forcing councils to sell properties ranked in the most expensive third of their type in the local area, once they become vacant.

The Conservatives say every house purchased will be replaced “on a one-for-one basis” with more affordable homes and no-one will be forced to leave their home.