European Commission calls on Chancellor to 'deploy appropriate measures' against rising house prices
George Osborne’s flagship Help to Buy scheme must be reined in and council tax should be increased to stop house prices getting out of control, the European Commission has said.
In a dramatic intervention in UK Government policy, the commission called on the Chancellor to “deploy appropriate measures” because of rising house prices, particularly in London.
Mr Osborne should adjust the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme and increase council tax on expensive properties, the commission said.
The suggestion that Help to Buy is fuelling a potentially damaging property boom will anger ministers and comes as David Cameron prepares to reform Britain’s relationship with the European Union before holding an in-out referendum in 2017.
Mr Cameron is also battling to prevent Jean-Claude Juncker, the former prime minister of Luxembourg, from being appointed as European Commission president when Jose Manuel Barroso’s term is over