View more on these topics

Ed Balls calls for housing reform

Labour leadership candidate Ed Balls has called for a reform of housing policy which would see £6bn pumped into affordable housing and VAT slashed for home repair, maintenance and improvements.

In an article published on the Labour List website today, the Shadow Children and Education Secretary says the moves could be funded by the fact public finances are around £12bn healthier than originally forecast in the March Budget. The Government has earmarked this money to lower the deficit.

He says: “By using half of that £12bn, a £6bn investment this year and next, we could build 100,000 extra affordable homes which it has been suggested would create up to 750,000 jobs, directly in the construction industry and indirectly in the supply chain”.

Balls says a temporary 5 per cent level of VAT should apply to the repair, maintenance and improvement of housing. He says evidence from other countries suggests such a move could increase tax intake.

Figures released by the Office of National Statistics last week showed an increase in construction output. However, Balls says: “They are a misleading guide to the future: they included businesses catching up with work after the bad winter and they were buoyed by Labour’s public sector building programme, which the coalition has now slashed”.

Balls says Labour needs to admit where it went wrong. He says: “The truth is that whilst we made progress, Labour leaders over several decades never paid enough sustained attention to housing to make it the priority it deserved. That must change.”


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm