The Government’s 2018 Spring Statement: The responses

The Government’s 2018 Spring Statement: The responses

Following the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, various members of the housing sector have responded.

Melanie Rees, CIH‘s Head of Policy, said the balance of housing funding needs to be addressed after an uneventful Spring statement for housing. Melanie commented: “This is another missed opportunity to get us closer to building the homes that we need.

“In his statement the Chancellor said that the Government’s focus on reducing the national debt is to give the next generation a chance, but unless we quickly start to build more of the right homes in the right places then the next generation will have absolutely no chance of getting access to a home that they can afford.

“There are measures that could be taken now to address this critical situation that would not require additional borrowing, including redressing the imbalance in the current housing budget.

“At present just 21% of funding earmarked for housing until 2021 will directly fund affordable housing. This simply does not reflect the balance of housing need across the country and the government must seriously address this imbalance if it is to meet its ambition to solve the housing crisis.”

James Thomson, Chief Executive, Keepmoat Homes, added: “We welcome the Government’s continued focus on housebuilding. Providing greater clarity and guidance to housebuilders is a welcome step as we work towards delivering the homes the country so urgently needs.

“We support a number of measures to reform Help to Buy, such as restricting the scheme to first time buyers, lowering the income cap for eligible purchasers, and lowering the price cap for eligible homes. We have also already engaged with the Letwin Review and look forward to working with the Government as the planning process remains the major barrier to growth in the industry.

“We look forward to working closely with the West Midlands Combined Authority to deliver 215,000 new homes by 2030/31. Keepmoat Homes is very willing to support the work that the Mayor, Andy Street, and the West Midlands Combined Authority are doing in any way we can.”

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) also responded, stating that the Chancellor’s announcement of a new consultation on late payment should be the beginning of the end for unfair payment practices which hit small businesses across the UK.

Commenting on the Spring Statement 2018, Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “The Chancellor’s announcement of a consultation to tackle the scourge of late payment today should mark a turning point on this issue. We should use this opportunity to bring about a spring clean of payment practices which negatively impact on small business.

“At first glance the Spring Statement has brought some other positive announcements for the UK’s small construction firms. The announcement of a doubling of funding to the Lloyd’s Housing Growth Partnership and an additional £80m funding to support SME firms looking to engage an apprentice is welcome news. With Brexit looming large on the horizon and the construction industry facing a chronic skills crisis, it’s of the utmost importance that more skilled workers begin to join the sector. An additional £50m to support T level training will further aid this aim.”

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