PLANS to scrap the Right to Buy programme in Wales have been met with a mixed reaction.

This week the Welsh Government unveiled plans to scrap the policy in Wales in an effort to make more housing available.

Right to Buy was introduced by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government in 1980 and allows social hosing tenants to buy their homes at a discount depending on how long they have lived there

But the Welsh Government has said it has led to a sharp reduction in the availability of social housing, with stock decreasing by 45 per cent since 1981.

Introducing the bill in the Senedd today, Wales’ communities and children secretary Carl Sargeant said the reduction in social housing meant vulnerable people were waiting longer for homes.

“The bill will protect the social housing stock for rent by people who are unable to buy or rent a home via the private market,” he said.

“This includes many vulnerable people who benefit greatly from the safe, secure and affordable homes that our social housing provides. “

The proposal has won support from Plaid Cymru and Ukip. But Conservative South Wales East AM David Melding slammed the plan, saying: “This is a sad day for Wales.”

Calling Right to Buy “the most popular housing policy in British history,” he said: “Home ownership is an important aspiration for tens of thousands across Wales.”

The bill will now be scrutinised by Assembly committees before being signed off later in the year.