Following a major speech on housing by party leader, Ed Miliband, the Labour Party has today issued a new campaign pledge card which now includes a sixth commitment: ‘Homes to buy and action on rents’.
Speaking at an event this morning in Stockton-on-Tees, Mr Miliband announced plans to exempt from Stamp Duty all first-time buyers purchasing homes of up to £300,000. This commitment would be put in place for a period of three years after Labour takes office. His speech also included reference to plans to give local first-time buyers “first call” on up to half of all new homes built in their area provided they have lived locally for at least three years.
Setting out his ambition to deliver ‘the biggest house building programme in a generation’, Mr Miliband said that Labour’s plan would help to see construction started on one million new homes by 2020. A Labour government, he said, would “not let those large developers just hoard land… waiting for it to go up in value when it could be used to build homes. We’ll say: either you use the land or you lose the land”.
Today’s speech follows the announcement made over the weekend on rent controls which would see rents capped so they cannot rise by more than the rate of Consumer Price Index inflation during new ‘secure three-year tenancies’ and a requirement for landlords and letting agents to disclose rent levels charged to previous tenants. The announcement on rent controls was attacked by political opponents with Nick Clegg saying that the policy was ‘superficially attractive’ but would result in ‘huge hikes’ every three years while Conservative London Mayor, Boris Johnson said it would ‘discourage the creation of new housing’.
This morning’s speech by Mr Miliband can be read here
Deputy Director of External Affairs
Home Builders Federation
London, SE1 9PL
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