Labour slams Shapps on housing failure

Sarah Davidson

August 17, 2012

Shadow Housing Minister Jack Dromey MP said:”These disappointing figures illustrate the disastrous consequences of the Government’s failing economic and housing policies, which have ensured a collapse in house building and a sharp contraction in the construction industry, one of the main reasons Britain is back in recession.

“Despite the millions of people now in desperate need of a home, the Government refuses to listen and change course. Tory Housing Minister Grant Shapps said in opposition headlines were easy but it was much harder to build homes. He has been true to his word, great at churning out press releases but dreadful at building homes.

“On housing and the economy, the Government’s policies have clearly failed, that’s why we need a change of direction and an alternative plan for jobs, homes and growth. The Government should take urgent action by implementing a bank bonus tax to fund 25,000 affordable homes to put unemployed building workers back to work, create jobs and apprenticeships for young people and provide a boost to the construction industry.”

Figures released by DCLG earlier this week show housing starts in England in the second quarter of the year dropped to just 21,540 – the lowest figure since the second quarter of 2009.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist, said the figures demonstrate the widening scale of the problem in delivering sufficient new housing.

Rubinsohn said: “The paltry number of new starts over the last three months is barely one-third of what is generally accepted as the required number to meet the growing level of demand across the country and suggests that government measures taken to date including the New Homes Bonus is having little impact.”

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