Devon

Decision to scrap Hips threatens Plymouth jobs

PSG office staff
Image caption Property Services Group employs 10 staff in Plymouth

A Devon business is counting the cost of the government's decision to scrap Home Information Packs (Hips).

The Property Services Group (PSG) in Plymouth was the single biggest supplier of Hips in the city.

At its peak the company was producing about 50 Hips a week, but the government's decision has resulted in PSG losing half its business.

It is working hard to expand into other areas, but owner Martin Gill fears he may be forced to cut staff.

Mr Gill said the business grew steadily after he started the Plymouth office in 2001, but it expanded rapidly in 2007 when the Labour government made Hips compulsory for everyone selling their homes.

He told BBC News: "This leaves us kind of high and dry really.

"We've expanded the business over the two-and-a-half years Hips have been in operation and, of course, we've expanded the staff to cope with it.

"Now it's dried up overnight."

For his 10 office staff, Mr Gill said there was the difficult realisation that some could lose their job.

"It's horrible because I've worked with some of my staff for upwards of five or six years," he said.

"It's not easy at all - there's a very human price to be paid for governments changing policy."

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