Budget Resolutions - Income Tax (Charge)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:13 pm on 1st November 2018.

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Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government 12:13 pm, 1st November 2018

I very much welcome the authorities that are coming forward with ideas for garden towns and villages, which will be an important part of the vision of a home becoming a reality for more people and of meeting our intent to provide 300,000 new homes per year. I would point my hon. Friend to the housing infrastructure fund, which is focused on delivering the infrastructure and support that allows housing growth to take place. It is important to recognise the additional support that the Chancellor has provided for that initiative in the Budget.

Councils and housing associations undoubtedly have a lot to contribute when it comes to helping us to build more homes more quickly, as do our small and medium-sized builders, which is why Monday’s Budget bolstered continuing efforts to support their revival and market diversification with £1 billion of new guarantees implemented by the British Business Bank. I am grateful to my right hon. Friend Sir Oliver Letwin for his review of the vital issue of build-out rates, which was published on Monday. He has not found evidence to suggest that our large house builders are engaged in speculative land banking, but he recommends reforms to the planning system on very large strategic housing sites. I look forward to studying his report in more detail, and I will respond more fully in the new year.

Whether through further reforms to planning or securing the future of Help to Buy, we are helping families, communities, buyers and renters in the private and social sectors, both now and in the long term, and in the process we are changing lives. As I have said before, this is not just about building more homes; it is about building stronger communities. Those communities need to know that the right infrastructure, transport links and other essential services are in place to support new developments. It was therefore great to see the Budget boosting the housing infrastructure fund by £500 million, bringing the total funding to £5.5 billion and potentially helping to unlock 650,000 homes. It was also great to see the Budget providing £291 million of grant funding for vital infrastructure on the docklands light railway in east London, which will ease pressure on existing services in the area and generate more than 18,000 homes.