CLG spent £660k on right to buy promotion
The Communities and Local Government department has spent around two thirds of its million pound annual advertising budget promoting the reinvigorated right to buy.
Figures released in response to a written question from Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes show the department spent £198,000 on direct marketing for the scheme, and £460,332 on print advertising.
The government has relaunched the right to buy, offering greater discounts and promising to reinvest the revenue in building more affordable housing.
Housing minster Mark Prisk said the spending was necessary ‘to ensure that eligible social housing tenants are aware of the increased discount now available if they wish to buy their home’.
Terry Stacy, Liberal Democrat housing spokesperson for the Local Government Association, said the advertising was ‘a total waste of taxpayers’ money’.
‘It just shows that despite the affordable housing crisis, the Tories are still obsessed with selling off social housing,’ he said.
‘It’s also yet another example of the Tories not trusting local government, despite all their rhetoric about localism.’
Earlier in the year lenders accused the CLG of pushing the right to buy too aggressively after it sent a letter to councils suggesting wording they could use to promote the scheme. Councils said they would not use the document as it did not place enough emphasis on the financial risks that come with taking on a mortgage.