• Mon. May 27th, 2024

Martin Lewis forces Treasury into U-turn over ‘nonsense’ first-time buyer message

Byoxfordnewspaper

Oct 4, 2022

The Treasury has been forced into another U-turn after Martin Lewis intervened and asked for a “nonsense” tweet about the government’s mini-budget to be deleted.

A Treasury post on Twitter had said: “Thanks to the Growth Plan, a typical first-time buyer in London moving into a representative terraced house will save £11,250 on stamp duty & £1,050 on the household’s energy bills – and if they earn £30,000 almost an additional £400 on tax. This is around £12,700 in total."

Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, which he was co-hosting on Monday, Mr Lewis said the messaging from the Treasury could give some people “false hope” during the cost-of-living crisis.

In Tuesday’s instalment of the ITV show, Susanna Reid said: "He [Martin Lewis] had said the message could give people false hope – the tax and energy savings amount – and the Treasury has since deleted it."

A Treasury spokesperson said: “While the figures used were statistically accurate, we recognise that certain assumptions were made about the profile of the typical first-time buyer which were not reflected in this tweet.

“We take responsible messaging very seriously – which is why we have deleted the tweet in question.”

The Treasury’s calculations were based on average house prices in London, using official data.

On Monday, Mr Lewis, interviewing Chief Secretary to the Treasury Chris Philp on Good Morning Britain, said: “Now, on my calculations, to save £11,250 on stamp duty you have to be buying a house as a first-time buyer of £500,000 or more.

“The cheapest fixed-rate mortgage on a £500,000 property with a 10% deposit leaves you with payments of £2,400 a month, which is £28,000 a year.

“But your example is for somebody who earns £30,000 a year. Clearly, they would not get that mortgage. And clearly on £30,000 a year before tax you cannot pay a mortgage of £28,000 a year.

“This seems fundamentally irresponsible for the Treasury to be putting out this kind of statement in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.”

Martin Lewis has since thanked the Treasury for deleting the message.