Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Kemptown and Peacehaven

Finance (No. 2) Bill

by Lloyd on 18.12.17 in Uncategorised
I will say that the measures we are considering are far too little and far too late. Homelessness has doubled in Britain, and in Brighton it has tripled, with 10% of adults now on the housing register. How do these proposals help them? The measures will increase house prices for first-time buyers.
I will say that the measures we are considering are far too little and far too late. Homelessness has doubled in Britain, and in Brighton it has tripled, with 10% of adults now on the housing register. How do these proposals help them? The measures will increase house prices for first-time buyers.

I know the Minister says that he has better data than the OBR, but I tend to believe the OBR, which was set up by the Conservative Government to provide independent analysis, over the books that are cooked in the Treasury—[Interruption.] Yes, the books that are cooked in the Treasury. What we need are clear supply-side measures—[Interruption.] The evidence for cooked books is that the OBR does not believe the Government’s figures. The evidence comes from the independent regulator. Let me get back to what I want to say, otherwise I will be distracted and we will be here for longer.

We clearly have a problem with young people and first-time buyers getting into the property market. In my constituency today, only five studio flats are on the market for less than £200,000. With average earnings in Brighton lower than the average for the rest of Britain, the introduction of a stamp duty waiver will make not one jot of difference, because people cannot afford to raise money for a deposit and to go to banks to ask them to lend. What we really need is decent social and council housing so that people can move into secure tenancies. I asked the Prime Minister whether she would lift the housing revenue account cap. We see in the Bill that there will be a lift to the value of £1 billion, if councils apply, but of course £22 billion would be made available, at no direct cost to the Government, if they just lifted the cap completely. Why will they not? Because they are scared—they are chicken—to allow working people to have decent homes. Clearly they want to keep people subjugated and in poor-quality rented private property. That is the only conclusion I can draw from their miserable set of proposals.​

Another thing we need is planning regulation that is stronger, not weaker. Until very recently, I sat on my local council’s planning committee. Time and again we were toothless in enforcing the social and affordable housing requirements. We do not need to give councils less power to enforce those requirements; we need to give them more powers to enforce them. The measures in the Bill to try to deregulate the planning sector go in completely the opposite direction.

I could make other points, but I am not going to talk anymore. It is quite clear that I will be voting against the Government’s measures, because they are absolutely useless for dealing with homelessness and house building. In fact, they will make matters worse.

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Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Kemptown and Peacehaven

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