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BMF welcomes Hammond’s housing provisions for Autumn

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement borrowing plans to invest more in new housing, national and local roads, flood protection, and grammar schools have been welcomed by the Builders Merchants Federation.  

 

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond MP, gave his first Autumn Statement to Parliament, in which he announced an extra £1.4 billion for 40,000 new builds between now and 2020-2021

 

The BMF says that the Chancellor has correctly identified it is often disposal of under-used land, site clearance, or the proximity of road and utilities needed, that are obstacles to housing completions. Announcing a £2.3 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund to deliver 100,000 new homes – with a further £1.7 billion allocated to accelerate building on publicly-owned land in England – is also good news.

John Newcomb, BMF Managing Director, said: “The Chancellor has signalled clear policy intent by doubling the annual capital spend on housing between now and 2021. This tells us that, as a former property developer himself, he fully understands the direct link between housebuilding and output and employment that creates local growth and national prosperity”.

 

“Mr Hammond made no mention of existing schemes such as Help To Buy. That is understandable because in a few weeks, the Government will publish a Housing White Paper”. But my message to the Chancellor and fellow ministers is clear – there is a great deal to be done to build many more new homes to ease today’s housing crisis”.

 

“Extending the freeze on Road Fuel Duty for another year is good news and something the BMF lobbies for. We hoped he would resist temptation to increase it and he has”.

 

“Increasing the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage was always on the cards – as was the 2% hike in Insurance Premium Tax, the second rise in the last 12 months.

 

On taxes, the BMF was disappointed that Hammond found no room in his Autumn Statement for either Business Rates – the ‘ask’ was to bring forward the shift from RPI to CPI uprating to next year or  Stamp Duty – the ‘ask’ was to ease Stamp Duty to help ‘later life buyers’ move home and release large family homes back into the market.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Fiona Russell-Horne
Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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