A new study by a Tory think-tank is demanding the government scraps tax reliefs for buy to let landlords to stop growth of the sector.

The report came from Conservative MP Neil O’Brien – who was a special adviser to former Chancellor George Osborne and Prime Minister Theresa May – has joined with think-tank Onward, led by former Tory darling Will Tanner.

Tanner was May’s former deputy head of policy.

The study blames buy to let landlords for ‘locking’ more than 2 million families out of owning their own home because buy to let investors have snapped up huge numbers of cheaper homes.

Foreign owners – including British expats – also bear some of the blame.

 “We can’t solve the housing problem with one hand tied behind our backs. As well as building more homes, we need to change the balance between the rented sector and home ownership,” said O’Brien.

“We should protect existing landlords but discourage more people from investing in rental property, because the buy-to-let boom has bid up prices and reduced home ownership among younger people.”

Onward demands landlords buying homes should have the same tax treatment as owner-occupiers, rather than receiving mortgage interest relief and discounted capital gains tax.

However, it’s not clear if the call is for landlords not to pay CGT in the same way as owner-occupiers do not.

Onward director Tanner said: “If the government wants to regain the support of young people and win the next election, it must be unflinching in its pursuit of greater home ownership.

“That means hard choices, like ending tax breaks for new landlords and giving councils much stronger powers to assemble land for new towns and villages. But it doesn’t mean, as so often is said, concreting over the green belt or steamrollering local opposition. We must build the homes Britain needs while protecting the views and places people love.”