Conservatives call on government to boost housing market by exploiting get-out clause in Hips legislation

The Conservatives have called on the UK government to suspend home information packs forthwith to kick-start the housing market.

They say that a clause contained in the Hips legislation means this can be done summarily without the need for any enabling legislative action, according to the BBC.

The relevant clause was apparently introduced as a concession to the House of Lords as a get-out provision in case the new system proved problematic.

The Tories say that the Hips are putting off speculative sellers, reducing sales, and stopping sellers from switching between estate agents in England and Wales, where the packs are compulsory.

However, the government has rejected the proposal, saying that global economic pressures are the real reason behind the UK housing market's troubles.

Housing spokesman Grant Shapps told the BBC: "If Gordon Brown genuinely wanted to help the beleaguered housing market, he would use his powers to suspend this harmful regulation and save homebuyers' money.

"The next Conservative government will scrap this unnecessary red tape completely, but a suspension now would deliver those benefits sooner rather than later."

Last month estate agents called for a review of Hips.