LABOUR says their analysis of the Scottish Governments Help to Buy scheme shows it’s not being used by the people it was supposed to assist.

Introduced in March last year, the The Help to Buy (Scotland): Affordable New Build Scheme, offers interest-free equity loans of up to 15 per cent of the value of a new-build home.

Buyers would needed to provide a deposit of at least 5 per cent, with the combined mortgage and deposit covering 85 per cent of the property price.

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According to Labour the average income of households participating in the scheme was £46,000, but with the median wage for a full time worker in Scotland around £27,000, they say the SNP is presiding over a housing crisis. Scottish Labour Housing spokesperson Pauline McNeill said: “In Scotland getting a foot on the housing ladder is harder than ever for young people. Too many people on lower incomes are caught in a vicious cycle – they can’t afford a deposit so they rent while they save money but the rent is so high they never put the money away.

“The average earner is even priced out of the SNP government’s Help to Buy scheme. Everyone should have the opportunity to own their own home but for some people that just feels like an unachievable dream with the top 15 percent of earners in Scotland more likely to benefit from this scheme than an average earner.”

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “Our priority is helping struggling first-time buyers to purchase their own home. Latest figures show over 10,000 households have benefited from Help to Buy since its introduction – two thirds of these were first time buyers and three quarters were aged 35 or under.

The evidence also shows the scheme has had success in helping people move from social housing and from waiting lists into sustainable home ownership.”

Last year there were 2,370 sales, with the average equity stake put up by the Scottish Government at £27,000.