THE Government says it wants to enable people on benefits to use those benefits to apply for a mortgage to buy a home. New legislation isn’t needed. People on benefits can already do this - if they can afford to buy property.

This is the problem. Many working people barely have enough to live on, let alone save for a deposit or safely commit to a long term debt at a time of general economic uncertainty, interest rate instability and house price inflation.

The financial crash of 2008 was set off in the United States by lenders persuading people on low incomes to buy homes on mortgages they could not afford. Using the desperation of people living financially precarious lives to help a nervous Prime Minister out of a political predicament of his own making is morally and financially objectionable.

If he wants to improve the standard of living of people on benefits he could look to other measures such as rent controls and increasing the stock of good quality housing for people on low incomes. What is being promoted is a subprime policy by a subprime Prime Minister.

Geraldine Reardon