Budget 2017 - reaction from United Living
The official reaction from United Living, following today’s 2017 Budget statement by Chancellor Phillip Hammond
Stuart Laird, chief operating officer of United Living, said:
“It’s encouraging that investment in housing has moved back up the political agenda and the £44bn government support package alongside the abolishment of stamp duty for homes up to £300,000 is very welcome news for the sector.
“While the Government’s drive to increase the number of new build homes to 300,000 per year is the right thing to do and we are making steps towards that, much more needs to be done in terms of policy. In order to achieve these figures we urgently need better ways of unlocking land to stimulate a nationwide housebuilding boom. In this respect, today’s announcement of a £1.1 billion fund to unlock strategic sites is most definitely a step in the right direction.
“The headline announcement around establishing the UK as a leader in new technologies are also duly noted. While the chancellor has chosen to focus on driverless vehicles, it is felt he’s missed an opportunity to more closely align this area with the raft of housing measures announced today. It is heartening that the Government is planning for long-term solutions like driverless vehicles. However, it would be good to hear more around commitments to new technologies in housebuilding which would help to solve a much more pressing problem for the country.”
“In terms of the bigger picture, the £1.7bn transport fund for the city regions could be a good stimulus for further housebuilding and raising ambitions beyond the target of the 1 million homes for 2020 that has previously been set. Of course the elephant in the room is Brexit and whilst there have been some encouraging developments in today’s Budget, it’s critical that we see the impetus of today’s announcements put into practice quickly, with a keen focus on pertinent issues such as the housing crisis, and raising skills and productivity.”