Gove Asked Seven Times How Many People Bonkers New “Buy a House on Benefits” Housing Policy will Help

Julia Hartley-Brewer skewered Gove this morning as he was asked seven times to specify how many people his new “Buy a House on Benefits” housing policy will help. Given the policy involves allowing people on benefits to put them towards paying a mortgage, the answer will be tiny. Gove failed to answer all seven times, eventually calling it a “silly question”. Not as stupid as the policy…

Guido has had a quick ring round and one Downing Street source – off the record – described it as “a nonsesensical gimmick”, a think-tanker usually sympathetic to the government described the policy as “insane”. The problems with the housing mortgage market will not be solved by just lowering credit worthiness criteria for borrowers, they will be solved by building more houses, something the government under threat of losing seats to cynical LibDems in the places where people want to live, is failing to promote. The problems of low income earners not earning enough are not helped by the government subsidising low paying employers via the welfare system or putting up the taxes of low earners. More big spending by big government is not the solution…

mdi-timer 9 June 2022 @ 10:01 9 Jun 2022 @ 10:01 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Gove: Housing Market Policies “Should Have Been Addressed Earlier”

Michael Gove just appeared on the Today Programme to trail the government’s plan to expand Right to Buy, ahead of Boris’s big “reset” speech later today. Aside from all the usual talking points, host Amol Rajan pinned Gove over the fact that these policies were only coming now – 12 years into Conservative rule…

Rajan: “Why have you built so few homes?… You’ve been in power for 12 years.”

[…] Gove: “There are challenges that flow from some of the steps that were taken in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis… maybe some of these questions should have been addressed earlier… In government, no one can say that we’ve been idle over the last two years…”

Maybe not the last two years, what about the whole decade before that?


mdi-timer 9 June 2022 @ 09:15 9 Jun 2022 @ 09:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Building Tsar: Housing Reform Could Raise £9 Billion for Treasury

The government’s building tsar Nicholas Boys Smith has told Rishi Sunak to finally back major housing reforms after data showed it could raise over £9 billion for the Treasury – and build 130,000 new homes a year. Just a shame it’s still expected to be missing from tomorrow’s budget then; the “levelling up” strategy (including housing) has been delayed…

Still, the proposed ‘street votes‘ rule, which would allow neighbours to collectively authorise new local developments, is expected to be signed off later in the year. It’ll be the brainchild of new Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove, who’s keen on the idea because it would spur growth and bring in more stamp duty revenue, yet retain the democratic control over planning procedure. The figures from the Create Streets think tank show that it would bring in £2.9 billion through stamp duty, and another £6.3 billion through economic growth.

Building tsar Boys Smith said:

““This important new analysis shows us that street votes could help the chancellor fill the Covid black hole. Allowing local housebuilders to build the homes that people want where they need them and when streets permit them could fund much of the investment that our left behind neighbourhoods badly need.”

It’s not rocket science: building more houses is probably a decent way of solving a housing shortage…

Hat-tip: Hugo Gye

mdi-timer 26 October 2021 @ 08:58 26 Oct 2021 @ 08:58 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Shadow Housing Secretary’s Cosy Dinner with Property Lobbyist

In June, Labour’s shadow housing secretary Steve Reed slammed the Tories for taking sizable donations from property developers, saying it was:

yet more evidence of the cosy relationship between the Conservative party and property developers, who for their investment will be allowed to concrete over communities at will”

In a move that could be seen as blatant hypocrisy, however, Guido learns Reed will tonight be wined and dined by former Tory councilor-turned housing developer lobbyist Peter Bingle. An email invite sent to Guido reveals Reed will attend a dinner with Bingle’s lobbying group Terrapin tonight, an invite that praises Reed’s relationship with Bingle dating back to when the shadow housing minister was leader of Lambeth Council.

In 2018, The Guardian revealed Bingle was using a direct communication channel to the leader of the Tory Wandsworth council to help push through planning applications for luxury apartment developments. In 2011 he boasted “I probably sold more council properties than anyone else”. Why does Guido feel this comfortable relationship between Reed and Bingle won’t sit comfortably with many on the Labour benches…

Reed’s team chose not to comment…

mdi-timer 13 October 2021 @ 15:56 13 Oct 2021 @ 15:56 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
UK Housing Market Booming, Economy Set for Rapid Bounce Back

The UK housing market saw record high of 183,000 transactions in March, with the average house price rising to £242,832 and the market seeing a complete revival after the steep decline during the first lockdown. Economic growth, meanwhile, is also now accelerating to near-record highs, with growth now forecast at 7.2% – up from the 5.1% predicted back in December. National incomes are also expected to return to pre-pandemic levels by next spring. The sun is out and the sky is blue…

7.2% growth would put the UK ahead of all but China and India in terms of recovery, with the US expecting 6.9%, and the EU on 4.3%. Reacting to the figures, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:

“Our plan for jobs is working. It’s great to see some early signs that the UK is bouncing back from the pandemic but with debt at nearly 100 percent of GDP we must also ensure public finances remain on a sure footing.”

Things are looking promising, though this is all before furlough ends and tax hikes kick in…

mdi-timer 1 June 2021 @ 08:58 1 Jun 2021 @ 08:58 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Starmer’s New Housing Spokesman Complains Too Many New Houses Built in Her Constituency

Lucy Powell took to undermining Labour’s housing offering on Politics Live this afternoon, complaining the government has built too many in her constituency in recent years:

Manchester’s a very beautiful place, a nice place to live, and over the 10-15 year period, the last few years and the forthcoming few years, there’ll be 50,000 new homes in my constituency alone, so that brings with it other challenges as well…”

This is a bizarre NIMBY criticism from Powell, especially given she was just appointed as Labour’s shadow housing secretary in Sunday’s reshuffle. Is this the Labour Party’s new attitude to house building? 

Has Lucy Powell quietly become the most gaffe-prone member of the shadow cabinet? The morning after the local elections she inadvertently praised the government’s election offering; she undermined Starmer’s ventilator point-scoring; and in December she was caught on camera saying deciding if Labour wants Britain to succeed or fail is a “challenge”. She’s starting to make Richard Burgon look like a canny political operator…

mdi-timer 11 May 2021 @ 13:28 11 May 2021 @ 13:28 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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