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George Osborne’s efforts to boost housebuilding criticised

In George Osborne’s Autumn Statement last week, it was announced that efforts to increase home ownership were a priority. However, his words have come under fire from a former member of the Bank of England’s monetary committee.

In the statement, he claimed that to help buyers onto the housing ladder he had created a plan to “back families who aspire to buy their own home”, and also discussed expanding the help-to-buy mortgage scheme. Half of the 400,000 new homes planned to be built will be available to the under 40’s demographic at a 20% discount.

But Dame Kate Barker, a housing market expert, has been heavily critical of Osborne’s decision, as a similar method to try to improve home ownership went awry in the US. She comments: “I do feel uncomfortable about a set of policies that are designed to be supportive of people who are just on the cusp of being able to buy, and need nudging over the edge…In the US when they did that, it didn’t end well.”

In Osborne’s Autumn Statement, he outlined that he will back the construction of 400,000 homes in the next five years, although Barker has claimed that 300,000 will be needed each year.

Martin Wolf, the economist and Financial Times commentator, was equally critical of Osborne’s efforts: “to shift support away from rent for this part of society is likely to prove in the long run an unsustainable policy.”

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    But Mr Osborne has his fingers in his ears and continues to go ''La La La, I'm not listening''

    Fake Agent

    Osborne knows nothing about anything, so not surprised. The man's a total incompetent, and that's me being kind.

    To be fair, I don't entirely disagree with him here. Buy-to-let does need to be brought under control. But I'd take him far more seriously if there was any effort to actually build more affordable homes across the country, to tackle the disgrace of empty homes and to eradicate the phenomenon of buy to leave.

    This government has shown what it thinks of housing in the last five years. The fact that Brandon Lewis doesn't have a Cabinet position says it all. It's one of the most important issues facing the country at the moment, why isn't it taken more seriously?

    The government make all the right noises and insist they are embarking on a massive housebuilding programme, but it's hard to take that seriously given their dismal record on this so far. Lowest level of housebuilding since the 30s, anyone?

    Gimmicky nonsense like Help to Buy and Right to Buy also doesn't help their cause. Right to Buy just worsens the supply issue, while Help to Buy helps only a very small minority of people. And even then, you still need a small fortune to put down as a deposit.

    Sorry, got a bit carried away. Where were we? Oh yeah, George Osborne. 24-carat buffoon. Then again, the government's record on housing has been poor for decades. More needs to be done.

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    Excellent point about Brandon Lewis not having a cabinet position. I hadn't considered that. I will use it if I may.

    Fake Agent

    Of course. Feel free. It's ludicrous.

    We barely hear from the man anymore. Before the general election, he used to be quite prominent. Since then, he seems to have been living in a cave or something.

    The number of housing ministers the Tories have had in the last five years should also be of concern. It's somewhat of a revolving door. Grant Shapps (whatever happened to him?), Mark Prisk and Kris Hopkins held the position before Lewis. The government clearly doesn't care about housing as much as they say they do - for one, their housebuilding record is appalling. Secondly, the housing ministers change as frequently as football managers.


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