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Briefings

HBF Member Briefing: Autumn Statement 2012

Date: 05/12/12

HBF Member Briefing: Autumn Statement 2012

Spending Review

The Chancellor announced that "the detail of departmental spending plans for 2015-16 will be set at a spending review, which will be announced during the first half of next year". This will extend the current Spending Review period, which ends in 2014-15, by one more year.

Business Bank

The Government is to create a Business Bank, with £1bn of capital, "to address structural gaps in the supply of finance to SMEs..."

SDLT

"We've already raised stamp duty on multi-million pound homes and next week publish the legislation to stop the richest avoiding stamp duty."

Property Tax

The Chancellor said he would not introduce a new property tax - the so-called Mansion Tax advocated by the LibDems.

Housing

"To support both housing and commercial development and support growth and jobs, the Government is providing a further £683 million through capital grants and financial transactions. In England, the Government will invest £474 million in local infrastructure on a recoverable basis. Around £60 million of this will be made available to support infrastructure in a limited number of Enterprise Zones. Around £225 million will be used to accelerate delivery of large housing sites, supporting around 50,000 homes. Around £190 million of the funding will be used to de-risk public sector land and enable the quicker disposal of surplus sites for new homes. Alongside this, the Government will provide £100 million to bring forward public sector sites for development." (Paragraph 1.90)

HBF comment

It is difficult making sense of these numbers which do not appear to add up. Nor is there much further detail available yet. The £225m to accelerate delivery of large housing sites was announced by Nick Clegg at the NHBC lunch on 22nd November - see extract below. This section of the Autumn Statement would also appear to cover the idea, trailed in the FT on 26th November, that the HCA will take over land disposal from some Government Departments. We expect further details to be published shortly.

Deregulation

From January 2013 the Government will operate a One-In Two-Out rule. "This will require the cost to business of new regulation to be offset by deregulation that delivers at least double the savings to business."

The Government has also said it will "review the appeals process to make appeals quicker and easier".

Public Land

DCLG is looking at the best way to publish local authority land and asset holdings on a single, published database.

Extract from Nick Clegg speech to NHBC lunch, 22nd November 2012

"The Coalition has identified major housing projects that have hit a wall - and we are intervening directly to unblock them. 

We are working with a number of large locally-led schemes, ranging from 4000 to 9,500 units in size, which in total will deliver up to 48,600 new homes.  

Including, among others, in Cranbrook, Fairfield, Northstowe, East Kettering.

These sites have been held up for various reasons - cash-flow problems following the banking crash, bureaucracy and licensing issues, a lack of upfront investment for infrastructure - some for up to ten years. 

And while all of them have strong local supporters, their communities are, understandably, becoming frustrated by these delays. 

So we will unlock the barriers to investment.

We will make sure that bureaucracy does not hold back these developments: bringing partners together to get action on the ground. 

And, where investment is required, I can announce new funding: we will provide £225m of government money, which will also leverage private investment to effectively de-risk these projects and get them moving. 

We will work with prospective developments and ensure that any public sector investment secures value for money from the taxpayer.

And once these developments are complete, the taxpayer will get that money back."

John Stewart

Director of Economic Affairs

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