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Pay rent to own your home, Lib Dems say

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron

Pro-Europe party promises plan that would see monthly rents used like a mortgage

Tenants will be able to use rent payments to buy their own homes if the Liberal Democrats win the next election on 8 June.

The rent-to-own initiative was  revealed in the party’s election manifesto published on Wednesday.

The party also promised  to restore housing benefit to young people, bring in bus passes for 16-21 year olds with a two-thirds discount, and lower the voting age to 16 if they gain power.

“You don’t have to accept Theresa May and Nigel Farage’s extreme version of Brexit that will wreck the future for you, your family, your schools and hospitals,” party leader Tim Farron said at the Liberal Democrat manifesto launch on Wednesday.

“In the biggest fight for the future of our country in a generation, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour has let you down by voting with Theresa May on Brexit, not against her.

“The Liberal Democrats want you to have a choice over your future. You should have your say on the Brexit deal in a referendum. And if you don’t like the deal you should be able to reject it and choose to remain in Europe.

“We want to give all our children a brighter future in a fairer Britain where people are decent to each other, with good schools and hospitals, a clean environment and an innovative economy.

“Not Theresa May’s cold, mean-spirited Britain.”

The Liberal Democrats also pledged to boost education spending by £7 billion over five years, double the number of businesses that take apprenticeships, and extend free school meals to all primary school pupils.

The rent-to-own scheme would see monthly rents used like a mortgage with working tenants owning their own home over a 30-year period.

The party would use a Housing and Infrastructure Development Bank to help firms and housing associations fund the building of rent to own homes.