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|Comment on the government spending review - Richard Pike, Phoebus Software|
|Wednesday, 25 November 2015|
Richard Pike, Phoebus Software sales and marketing director says “The Chancellor has today allayed many fears, but also raised a few questions, along with many eyebrows. The fact that the Office for Budget Responsibility has revised down it forecast for public spending has given Mr Osbourne the leeway to drop his intended tax credit cuts and shut the door in the face of critics, and the opposition party, who were expecting further cuts to NHS and police budgets.
“As far as our industry is concerned the Chancellor reinforced his commitment of a major house building programme, increasing the pre-election promise of 200,000 homes by 2020 to 400,000 by the end of the decade. This is of course good news, especially when the focus on is on building starter homes. Mr Obsbourne’s mantra throughout this review was ‘we are the builders’, an evolution from ‘get Britain building’ but one with the same message.
“The question is not one of where, there is plenty of land especially now that the government is releasing more public land, but how? Since the financial crisis there have been two main reasons why we have not hit our building targets – skills and materials. These are problems that, with only five years until the end of the decade, need to be addressed if we are ever to meet this ambitious target.
“The intention of the government is to see more people owning their own home, a very noble enterprise, and the increase in new housing is a good start. However, this is a long term plan and as it stands, with house prices increasing and affordability a major issue in many areas of the country, the current generation is still reliant on rental properties. The new stamp duty increase for buy-to-let is the second blow for landlords this year, and it remains to be seen whether this will give more people the opportunity to buy or if it will just push up rental costs?”
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