There’s not long to go until Britain goes to the polls. But what are the parties saying about housing?
The General Election campaign is well underway, and we can hardly contain our zzz...zzzz...zz... excitement!
But in all seriousness, whichever way you’re voting, this is one election that can be safely filed under momentous. While there are many issues to consider when you vote, we thought we’d put each party’s property plans under the microscope.
The Tories have been drip-feeding their manifesto pledges throughout the campaign. Here’s what we know about their housing commitments so far:
The Labour Party manifesto promises to close “the gap between the housing haves and have-nots”. The pledges include:
We could talk all day about the other parties, but we won’t.
The Greens have pledged to create 100,000 new energy-efficient council homes per year, with ‘major heating upgrades’ for 1 million homes annually.
North of the border, the SNP earmarked £150m earlier this year to fund government-backed loans of up to £25,000 for first-time buyers.
The Monster Raving Loony Party say they’ll scrap Stamp Duty, as “stamps are expensive enough without having to pay duty”.
And last, but perhaps least, the Brexit Party have swerved putting a number on their house building targets, but have pledged to ‘accelerate the pace of development’.
We won’t tell you how to vote, but for the sake of balance, what are the naysayers saying?
Perhaps the Tories’ most eyebrow-raising pledge is the lifetime fixed-rate mortgage. Torsten Bell, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation — a think tank focused on living standards for those on low to middle incomes — suggested that the proposal carry a whiff of the 2008 sub-prime mortgage collapse.
“It’s a massive deal if they’re overruling the Bank of England on regulation, or getting on the nationalisation bandwagon with state-backed mortgages,” Mr Bell observed.
On the other side, the main criticism of Labour’s plans has centred on the cost of its £75bn house building programme, to be funded by increased taxes for the top 5% of earners, with Corporation Tax rising to 26% by 2022. The Institute for Fiscal Studies have described Labour’s tax plans as “not credible” while a group of economists have endorsed the plans in a letter to the Financial Times.
Whatever the reality, once December 12th is out of the way we can expect significant changes in the property landscape. So whatever issue is closest to your heart, read the manifestos and don’t forget to vote!
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