Critics of ministers’ housing policy are likely to seize on a lack of significant funding from Whitehall when measures to help the market are unveiled today.

But with the public finances squeezed by a flatlining economy, little new money will be on the table in today’s announcement.

After months of speculation, ministers are set to announce what they will describe as a 'major package', including help for firsttime buyers and schemes for struggling homeowners to avoid eviction.

But Alistair Darling is still deliberating on whether to take more controversial – and potentially costly – measures to prop up the housing market in his pre-Budget report this autumn.

Proposals being considered by the chancellor include a stamp duty holiday, an extension of the Treasury’s mortgage swap facility or a state insurance scheme to protect homeowners who lose their job.

Financial Times