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Saturday19 August 2017

Budget 2016: Round-up and reaction

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Architects criticise chancellor for not doing more for housing

RIBA president Jane Duncan said George Osborne’s Budget left “too many unanswered questions” about how the government planned to tackle the housing crisis.

She said: “Councils need to be given greater borrowing powers to invest in new housing.

“The continued focus on home ownership means that there are huge parts of the market where private developers and housing associations either can’t or won’t invest.”

But she welcomed changes to the rules on business rates and national insurance contributions.

And she said planned investments to infrastructure projects in London and the north were a welcome boost to capacity.

“Further devolution deals will be an ideal opportunity for architects to work with communities on housing, planning and transport issues that ensure we get more high-quality affordable homes for everyone,” she added.

Meanwhile the property industry warned that the decision to extend the 3% increase in stamp duty to corporate investors would deal a “huge blow” to the nascent build-to-rent sector.

“This is going to be a significant deterrent to the institutional investment currently poised to settle in the purpose-built rented sector, which has the opportunity to deliver a significant number of new, quality affordable homes,” said Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation.

Budget round-up

  • The delivery of 13,000 affordable homes two years early by bringing forward £250 million of capital spending to 2017-18 and 2018-19
  • Starter Homes Land Fund prospectus inviting local authorities to access £1.2bn of funding to remediate brownfield land for housing
  • Consultation on increasing transparency in the property market
  • HCA working with Network Rail on releasing land for housing and commercial schemes
  • Legislation to make it easier for local authorities to work together to create garden towns
  • £5m for new Shakespeare North theatre by Helm Architecture
  • £2m for Burrell Foley Fischer’s Hall for Cornwall revamp
  • Cathedral Repairs Fund extended by an extra £20m
  • £13m for Hull’s City of Culture project
  • East Anglia and the West of England (Bristol and Bath) to get combined authorities
  • Osborne has opened negotiations with Edinburgh and Swansea over new City Deals
  • The carbon reduction commitment - a mandatory emissions reduction scheme for large organisations - has been scrapped
  • Stamp duty reform for commercial properties
  • Small businesses will be exempt from business rates up to £15k in revenue. 600,000 small businesses will pay no rates at all
  • Corporation tax to be cut to 17% by 2020
  • Extra £700m announced for flood defences
  • £300m for transport projects - including funds for HS3 and Crossrail 2
  • More than £230m earmarked for road improvements in the north of England, including upgrades to M62

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Readers' comments (3)

  • Gideon is possibly the most incompetent chancellor the country has ever had.

    Couple that with the fact he is a stooge, terraforming the planet for his lizard overlords, and the result is yesterdays budget.

    Don't be poor, don't be disabled, don't be a child, don't rent, don't buy, don't live anywhere near London, don't use public transport. You'll be ok otherwise

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • SomeoneStoleMyNick

    My reaction: Osborne is a disaster. First he finds millions down the back of the sofa he didn't know he had and spends them immediately. A month later he suddenly realises he needs to borrw twice that amount. I think he's been sniffing the white powder. And as he announced his crackdown on property developers not being able to accrue their profits in offshore companies, I thought of the development of the former Osborne and Lyttle site in south London, and had to smile cynically.

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  • Cthululu,
    Essentially, be George and you'll be ok

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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