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The Blog

The viability challenge: how will the government’s planning reforms affect the delivery of affordable housing?

2 May 2018

When Theresa May announced the government’s latest planning reforms in March, one of her most strident criticisms was of ‘unscrupulous developers’ who ‘dodge their obligation to build homes local people can afford’. In her sights was the gaming of the planning system to negotiate down private-sector contributions to affordable housing as a condition of the… [Read More]

A national investment bank could address the UK’s productivity problem

16 February 2018

As much as the impact of Brexit on growth is the focus of debate at the moment, the UK’s disastrous productivity growth and persistently low levels of investment pose a much bigger on-going threat to our economy. Indeed, the IMF notes this week that ‘over the medium term, growth prospects [in the UK] will depend… [Read More]

Rising household debt – should we be worried?

13 February 2018

A decade on from the financial crisis, household debt relative to income is almost as high as it has ever been. After several years of deleveraging, since 2015 mortgage lending and especially consumer credit have begun to rise again. The debt-to-income ratio reached 138 per cent at the end of last year. This is lower… [Read More]

The contradiction in the government’s housing policy

22 October 2017

Sajid Javid made some encouraging noises on the Andrew Marr Show today but, as well as the constant disconnect between the briefing and the substance in this particular policy area, there remains a contradiction in the government’s approach to housing that remains troubling. On the plus side, he sounds more ambitious than ever in terms… [Read More]

What land purchase powers will new housing development corporations have?

21 April 2017

The housing white paper is still out for consultation but one key, little-noticed measure has already been incorporated into legislation. An amendment to the Neighbourhood Planning Bill, accepted by the government, will enact the promise to ‘allow locally accountable New Town Development Corporations to be set up, enabling local areas to use them as the… [Read More]

Don’t overlook the role of the European Parliament in Brexit

29 March 2017

As the UK kicks off the Article 50 negotiations, it remains the case that relatively little attention has been paid to the role of the European Parliament, which will accept or reject the agreement between the UK and the EU setting out the arrangements for Brexit. If the European Parliament rejects the agreement, the UK… [Read More]

The Budget showed a lack of industrial ambition

10 March 2017

The Budget was meant to boost the UK’s economic resilience, thereby strengthening the prime minister’s hand in the upcoming Brexit negotiation, and get the UK match-fit for its global role post-Brexit by investing in infrastructure, innovation and skills. The most effective way of achieving these goals would be via a new and fairly comprehensive industrial strategy.… [Read More]

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