'Government's first-time buyer mortgage plan was devised by ING'
Friday 15 February 2013
Government plans to help first-time buyers get a foot on the housing ladder were actually devised by financial services group ING, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Friday.
The paper, which bases its claims on 'various sources', also says the housing ministry has confirmed ING approached it with ideas.
D66 parliamentarian Wouter Koolmees, who was part of the multi-party team which drew up the housing strategy compromise earlier this week, said: 'The idea we came up with already existed. A major bank had asked the finance ministry if this construction was possible.'
Koolmees then confirmed the bank was ING, the paper states.
Housing minister Stef Blok was forced to come up with a compromise because the coalition government does not control the senate and did not have a majority there for some of the more controversial plans.
He, the D66 Liberals and two minor Christian parties reached a deal which involved watering down several government proposals from the coalition agreement.
One of the biggest changes involved mortgages. The government planned to limit mortgage tax relief to 30-year 100% repayment mortgages but this has now changed.
In the new situation, home owners will be able to take out a combined mortgage made up of two loans. One will be a repayment mortgage over 30 years, which will be fully deductible from tax. The second loan, worth up to 50% of the value of the property, will run for up to 35 years and will not be deductible.
This will allow first-time buyers to reduce repayments in the early years but will in the long term be more expensive.
The parties involved in the new housing deal say they hope the changes will breathe life back into the housing market.
Housing reforms to cost €200m a year