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First-time buyers can now get up to 50% off new homes under new government scheme

The scheme will help people who wish to stay in the communities where they live and work

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@photography_by_feaver / Unsplash & @amead97 / Unsplash

The government has launched a new initiative that could see first-time buyers get up to 50% off new-build properties.

It’s no secret that getting on the property ladder is a virtually impossible task these days – the North West alone has raised the average property price from £164,009 to 170,025, new reports show. 

The current average property price in the region is 3.5% more than the previous all-time high of £167,693.

But now, a new scheme could lend a helping hand to buyers struggling to purchase their first home.

@roselyntirado / Unsplash

Launched today, the First Homes scheme will help local first-time buyers – many of whom will be key workers like NHS staff and veterans – onto the property ladder by offering homes at a discount of at least 30% compared to the market price.

This price-cutting can reach up to 40% or 50% though from local authorities if applicants can display a need for this discount level – this could help people save £100,000 or more.

The project launched today in the Bolsover district in the East Midlands, but further sites across the country – the North West included – are set to join in the next few weeks.

The government then plan for a further 1,500 homes to enter the market from autumn, with at least 10,000 homes annually being delivered in the coming years ahead if there is the demand for them.

@photography_by_feaver / Unsplash

Though it is worth noting that there are certain restrictions to who can apply for this scheme – If your household has a combined annual income of more than £80,000, then you are not eligible.

Local councils also have the power to set their own requirements such as what type of people will be prioritised.

Housing Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, said: “Enabling more people to buy their own homes is at the heart of the mission of this government.

“First Homes will also support our fantastic key workers who are looking to get their first foot on the housing ladder – from front-line doctors and nurses to delivery drivers and supermarket staff – by giving many of them the chance to buy a home at a 30% discount.”

You can find out more about the scheme here.

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Leaked documents reveal which Covid restrictions may remain after July 19th

We might have to wear our face masks for a little bit longer…

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Number 10 / Flickr & Kristoffer Trolle / Flickr

Leaked documents are claiming that the current social distancing rules and restrictions will be staying in place after the revised ‘freedom day’ on July 19th.

The memo, obtained by Politico, listed a number of restrictions that the government plans to keep in place for the foreseeable future.

According to the leaked documents, face masks may have to remain mandatory in certain settings for the long term, employers and employees will be told to decide amongst themselves as to whether they want to return to the office or work from home.

As well as that, it says some form of border control and quarantine will be needed for a significant period of time to prevent new variants entering the country.

Number 10 / Flickr

The memo also states that plastic screens – such as those currently used in hairdressers and restaurants – may actually spread Covid rather than prevent it.

Ministers are also considering bringing in new rules for businesses to keep workplaces better ventilated, the documents claim. 

Cabinet office sources have since stressed that the document was one of several including multiple options – with nothing signed off by ministers yet or anywhere near being announced.

This comes just days after Prime Minister Boris Johnson pushed back the highly anticipated ‘freedom day’, June 21st, by just short of a month to July 19th. 

Johnson said this was a result of the new Delta variant, which makes up for 90% of new cases across the country: “I think it is sensible to wait just a little longer.

“I am confident we won’t need more than four weeks – it’s unmistakably clear that the vaccines are working – but now is the time to ease off the accelerator.

“We have the chance to save many thousands of lives by vaccinating millions more people.”

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Covid vaccine to be mandatory for care home workers

Thoughts?

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Gov.uk & Asian Development Bank / Flickr

The Covid-19 vaccine is to become mandatory for all care home staff members across the country, new reports detailed last night. 

It is believed that care staff will be given sixteen weeks to receive the jab or will face the possibilities of either being moved to a different posting or losing their jobs entirely.

The Guardian reported that the new plans are expected to be announced in the next couple of days.

Province of British Columbia / Flickr

It is expected that ministers will also be pushing ahead with compulsory vaccination for most of the 1.5 million people working in social care across the country, despite employer and staff organisations warning that it could result in workers quitting rather than getting vaccinated.

The reports also claim that the government is keen to make it mandatory for the 1.38 million people who are employed by the NHS in England to get vaccinated against Covid-19 – proposals that have already been criticised by groups representing doctors, nurses and other staff.

Workers who can prove they are medically exempt from receiving the vaccine will not be affected.

Gov.uk

The government has been widely criticised for its lack of support of care homes at the start of the pandemic; residents were heavily affected by the outbreak of Covid-19 and significant numbers, including many people with dementia, died as a result.

An investigation by Amnesty International late last year found that a series of ‘shockingly irresponsible’ Government decisions put tens of thousands of older people’s lives at risk and led to multiple violations of care home residents’ human rights.

As a result, between March 2nd and June 12th this year, 28,186 ‘excess deaths’ were recorded in care homes across England, with over 18,500 care home residents confirmed to have died with Covid-19 during this period.

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Budget supermarket cheaper than Aldi and Lidl ‘to open 300 stores in the UK’

Get your wallets ready, there’s a new bargain supermarket in town…

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Mere Retail

A new supermarket that could rival the likes of Aldi, Lidl, Tesco and Asda is set to open hundreds of UK stores, according to new reports.

Mere was founded as Svetofor in Siberia back in 2009, and has already opened four stores in Preston, Castleford, Mold and Caldicot.

However, according to The Grocer, a platform dedicated to supermarket and grocery news, its plans to expand are now well and truly underway – with a few Greater Manchester locations on the list of planned new stores.

Mere Retail

And, to make the arrival of this new supermarket even more interesting, Mere’s head of UK buying, Pavels Antonovs, claims it would be thirty percent cheaper than other UK rivals.

He said: “We are the gap in the market. We don’t have any competitors. Our model is no service and no marketing.”

Existing Mere stores are said to include a walk-in chiller room and freezer, while items are typically sold directly from the pallets they’re delivered on.

Mere Retail

The supermarket also apparently buys stock from suppliers on a ‘sale or return basis’, meaning it will return any unsold goods to the seller.

The planned locations which are currently listed are Stretford, Stockport, Devon, Neath, Banbury, Selby, Bradford, Middlesbrough, Grantham, Kettering, Plymouth, Beckenham, Gloucester, Northampton, Cardiff, Oswestry, Barnsley, Sheffield, Exeter, Southampton, south Scotland and Wales.

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