“Thousands more homes pledged by councils under May’s new rules”

Our council appears to be more interested in buying (presumably with loans) commercial property – not necessarily, perhaps even most unlikely within its own boundary

Sixty local authority leaders have pledged an immediate drive to build thousands more council homes by exploiting new rules announced by Theresa May, it has emerged.

Dozens of councils across the country, led by both Labour and the Tories, have signed an open letter vowing to use new powers to borrow more money to build a new generation of properties. It has led to hopes of the biggest council house-building programme since the 1970s.

However, it leaves Philip Hammond with a major headache ahead of his budget later this month. The extra borrowing could add £1bn to the deficit and further constrain his room for manoeuvre, as he already needs to find money to fund the NHS. Tory MPs also believe they have won a battle for help to be handed to benefit claimants set to lose out under universal credit.

Reducing a popular jobs incentive, imposing a new digital services tax and curbing pension tax relief are all being examined as ways to raise funds. Hammond is attempting to deal with a shortfall in the public finances set to hit about £100bn over five years.

A major chunk of the shortfall comes from measures favoured by No 10 and imposed on the chancellor, who had been keen to keep his budget as unspectacular as possible due to the uncertainty ahead created by the Brexit negotiations.

Hammond is expected to press ahead with unilateral action on tech giants to raise some funds. A digital services tax will be designed to impose a levy on tech firms for the consumer data they collect and deploy. Treasury officials like the measure because they believe the companies will not be able to pass the tax on to consumers. ….”

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/oct/21/councils-pledge-to-exploit-end-to-borrowing-cap-to-build-homes

One thought on ““Thousands more homes pledged by councils under May’s new rules”

  1. More to the point, I think we have to assume that this “pledge” by Theresa May will have about the same level of believability as all her previous pledges e.g.

    * for the Conservatives to be the Party for everyone – tell that to the increasing numbers of people losing their benefits and becoming destitute (or indeed to the already obscenely rich who have become even richer under Conservative policies – probably because those same rich people donate to the Conservative Party and by doing so effectively dictate those same policies).

    * to end the Hostile Environment – which of course was her idea in the first place when she was Home Secretary, so hardly likely to be willing to trash it – and the continuing list of families kept apart and people continuing to be deported after living here for decades proves this to be false

    * to end austerity – even though cuts to public services (mainly for the vulnerable and poor) are actually massively bigger this year

    What will happen with this latest “pledge” is that they will tell councils to build more homes, and maybe legislate to force them to do so, but they won’t provide funding or allow councils to borrow, so it will be impossible for them to build new social housing, and then they will blame the councils for not building them (i.e. in exactly the same way that they blame councils for not providing social care or for going bankrupt when it is central government that has deliberately created this mess through “austerity” policies designed to cut services for the poor and taxes for the rich – Theresa May is a sort of anti-Robin-Hood, taking from the poor to give to the rich).

    Like

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