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NEW RIGHT TO BUY PUBLICITY CAMPAIGN PLANNED

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The first publicity campaign for more than six years to encourage council tenants to buy their homes is being plann...
The first publicity campaign for more than six years to encourage council tenants to buy their homes is being planned by the government, the Financial Times reports (p9).

Environment Secretary Michael Howard wants to launch the drive in the spring, perhaps as early as next month, the paper says.

Television advertising and leafleting all council tenants to ensure they are aware of purchasing schemes are among possible schemes.

No new incentives are intended but ministers believe the fall in mortgage rates and increases in council rents have tilted the balance of benefit back towards buying for council tenants.

The opposition will attack the move, given housing repossessions are at near record levels, and it is likely to reignite the controversy over government and political advertising, the FT says.

The move is timed to coincide with the temporary relaxation on spending of councils' capital receipts announced in the Autumn Statement.

The story is also carried by the Daily Telegraph (p9), which says the move is designed to counter suggestions that the government was retreating from the ethos of home ownership to concentrate on boosting the rented sector.

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