Build more houses?

Labour proposes two main ways of boosting growth. They  wish to lift new homes from 200,000 a year to 300,000 a year. They  want to double onshore wind, treble solar and quadruple offshore wind investment.

If the government is serious about building 1.5 million homes by 2029 it will need to talk to the banks and the Bank of England about the credit squeeze. The main reason housebuilding has got stuck is the scarcity of mortgages and the high prices of credit.

Homes are very expensive, in part because the government has allowed in so many additional people all needing accommodation. If the government wants to ease housing shortages and curb price rises it needs to stick with the  government’s changes to eligibility to gain legal entry to the country and to tighten the criteria further.

The government says the main blockage is planning. Local authorities say there are over 1 million available plots for homes with planning permission. The English planning system is based on a five year supply of building land, meaning there should always be available site to lift the build rate when demand is available.

The government’s proposed change is just to put a centrally determined house building target into every Council’s local Plan by amending the national Planning Policy which guides the planning system. We had such targets until September 2023 when they were removed. When we had them the system did not deliver 300,000 a year.

Presumably this old system will be introduced in  any given Council area when they need to revise their current local plan. Councils usually revise every five years so it will take time to get these re introduced.

The U.K. government does not have planning powers outside England. The devolved governments will have their own approach and have not agreed to match England.

The government will only build 1.5 million if they resolve money and credit, demand pressures and the Bank’s money squeeze.

 

173 Comments

  1. Mark B
    July 10, 2024

    Good morning.

    It seems that, like the government before it, it does not understand the simple concept of demand and supply.

    Clearly they are off to a bad start.

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      July 10, 2024

      Indeed supply and demand they are also proposing to control rents and eviction which will deter many from letting property at all.

      The plan for even more intermittent wind and solar (and EV cars and Heat-pumps) is not a good plan.

      Other problems with housebuilding are expensive planning condition they attach many building slow and often less affordable. They also expire after three years so often you have to reapply with further delays if you have not been able to finance it in time or Covid got in the way, the over the top insulation standards, electric charge points, disabled requirements etc. push costs up too.

      The Tories increased stamp duty from 4% to 15% top rate. This is often paid twice on developer purchase and then when bought by the final user. Often much CGT and Corp. tax too. Then OTT employment laws, the attacks on the self employed, OTT green crap regulations, extra planning demands and requirements, expensive bank finance margins, surveys and costs – so often can make building it out financially rather marginal and speculative.

      Reply
      1. Lifelogic
        July 10, 2024

        The Tories large increases in CGT rates and now lack of indexation against inflation also deters some building. As does Osborne’s tax change on landlord interest. In effect double taxing it one on the landlords then again on the bank. Building to let out rarely works unless you do not have to borrow. Then again will you ever get the property back. This also deters building and letting out as does the extra 3% Stamp Duty SDLT tax for properties other than your main residence.

        Reply
        1. Hope
          July 10, 2024

          JR, Guido has many interesting articles today, worth you having a read.

          My attention was drawn to Backstabber Badenoch- she learnt well from Gove! Surely her behaviour rules her out of any role in the leadership of the Uni Party? Who could trust her?

          Labour all flying around in private jets against their promises while Miliband’s junior minister wanting more taxes on oil and gas! Starmer courts the press for his close relationship with EU! Time for people to revolt. No wonder rogue parliament groaned at Farage yesterday.

          Reply
      2. Mark B
        July 10, 2024

        I am now listening via YT to a landlord going through Labour’s plan for the private rental sector. I am not expert, but the private sector is thoroughly screwed.

        Reply
        1. Lifelogic
          July 10, 2024

          Correct it is a policy of theft off private landlords to buy votes of tenants it will help neither in the end. It such theft not illegal? But Osborne disallowed interest deductions which was also theft (mad to pay tax on profits they had not made) as is Cgt without indexation against inflation.

          Reply
          1. Stred
            July 10, 2024

            They have already removed section 31 and it is now impossible to remove tenants in order to sell. Rent controls, licensing and higher EPCs are on the way. Apparently done without debate by statutory instruments. We’re back to the 1960s.

        2. Lynn Atkinson
          July 10, 2024

          Yes time the private sector took a back seat and allowed Reeves to put the Govt in the impossible position.
          There are going to be a load of ex-holiday houses for sale at realistic prices, rather than a price based on their ‘business turnover’ once they clarify that they can’t get a holiday-home licence.
          Stand by anyone wanting to downsize.

          Reply
      3. Lifelogic
        July 10, 2024

        Retrospectively saying planning given in say the last 10 years that has or will shortly expire are still valid without re-application would get some building build more quickly and save costs. Also conversion for flats to houses, shops, offices to flats or back again without planning. Get the government out of the way.

        Reply
        1. Lynn Atkinson
          July 10, 2024

          You can convert shops, offices, pubs, barns, etc to homes without pp. it’s encompassed in the ‘permitted development’ criteria.

          Reply
          1. Lifelogic
            July 10, 2024

            No as easy as you think – you usually need planning if any significant external changes and usually these are needed. You do need planning for barn etc. conversions. Many LEA also restrict this a lot in certain areas.

          2. Lifelogic
            July 10, 2024

            Flats to houses and the reverse needs planning too.

      4. Lifelogic
        July 10, 2024

        “The plan for even more intermittent wind and solar (and EV cars and Heat-pumps) is not a good plan.”

        Rather an understatement. Indeed it is an insane plan. Intermittent and very expensive to build, connect, back up and maintain. Also impossible to store the electricity cost effectively. Environmentally damaging too.

        Reply
        1. Stred
          July 10, 2024

          They have given young Mr Stark from the Climate Change Committee the job of building more wind and solar in the ministry with Ed Millipede in charge. Stand by for increased bills and power cuts.

          Reply
      5. Lynn Atkinson
        July 10, 2024

        The trick is to ‘start’ the development. Put in a drain, have the building inspector examine it, then the pp does not lapse.

        Reply
      6. Lifelogic
        July 10, 2024

        Cleverly says “the new Prime Minister had erected a “huge ‘open’ sign on the white cliffs of Dover” after axing the Rwanda deportation scheme and allowing Channel migrants to claim asylum.

        No the idiot has just added “NOW EVEN BETTER TERMS” to the one that Cameron, May, Boris and Rish Sunak had erected and retained for 14 years. (While pretending to be reducing net immigration legal and illegal to the tens of thousands but delivering 700K PA. Then they expected us to trust their fifth serial lying manifesto.

        Reply
        1. Stred
          July 10, 2024

          It was reported that the young rights lawyer who took the government to court years ago and required migrants to be put up in proper accommodation like hotels was none other than a Mr Starmer.

          Reply
        2. Ed M
          July 10, 2024

          Fighting immigration is a bit like fighting off the sea from a sandcastle.
          Main problem is that million of native British people are unproductive, cause: 1) They’ve deep psychological issues / trauma from childhood / the rat-race we live in (mainly) and / or 2) Spoilt (to a degree)
          And so we have to import immigrants to keep the economy going (although sure big problems in how that is run – and could be run much better – but still, relatively-speaking, trying to protect the sand castle from the sea).
          The only way to protect the sand castle from the sea is to build solid foundations or walls around it by TRYING to install healthy Conservative cultural values into the population by working with people in the churches, media, education and arts.
          You might say, ‘Oh let’s just stop welfare’ but then you end up with chaos (this could be contained in the Victorian era – but not now with so many people, drugs, gangs, dangerous weapons, easy access to technology etc) and so on. It would actually be far more costly to the tax payer to allow our country to fall into such chaos (although getting there anyway). And at least in the Victorian era, far more people believed in healthy Conservative cultural values (such as family, work ethic, personal responsibility, and so on) than now.
          So it’s like a time bomb waiting to go off (and politics / economics is NOT enough to stave it off – it requires something much deeper – at a cultural level / mindset).

          Reply
        3. Hope
          July 11, 2024

          Cleverly gave amnesty to a historic record of 68,000 criminals from France last year! What is the idiot talking about!

          It would be better to announce, The not fit for purpose Home Office has a new spoke person Yvette betray nation Cooper, that is all.

          Reply
    2. PeteB
      July 10, 2024

      Mark, Government off to a bad start – who’d have thought?
      There is another limit on house building. We lack the skilled trades to do the building work. How long does it take to find a decent electrician/roofer/plasterer/plumber to do an extension or refurb job?

      Reply
      1. Lifelogic
        July 10, 2024

        Indeed cull student loans for most subjects (about 75% of UK degrees are a waste of time and virtually worthless in the jobs market certainly not worth the three years and fees they demand) so send people on practical apprenticeships with night school or day release and training on the job. Also material shortages as most have to be imported. So where is the money coming from to do this? What will the UK sell overseas to balance out trade figures.

        Perhaps instead of £50-100k of student debt give then the money to buy a plot and build their own homes slowly perhaps while living in a Caravan.

        Reply
        1. Christine
          July 10, 2024

          The money is coming from the middle classes and pensioners. It’s all part of levelling down. Soon there will be no incentive to work hard.

          Reply
          1. Lifelogic
            July 10, 2024

            No much now for most people!

      2. Mark B
        July 10, 2024

        I work in the construction industry. Many of the workers, but not all, are from Eastern Europe. Not an issue, just saying.

        Reply
        1. Lynn Atkinson
          July 10, 2024

          Well they don’t charge VAT (use fake vat numbers regularly and HMRC don’t mind, they have told me so) so they quote 15% above the going rate and beat the British builder everytime, and the money they make in their own currency is fantastic.
          I have also seen fake gas and electric certs. So they don’t have the overheads we demand at great cost.
          One of the reasons you can’t allow people who live in a different economic climate to work in ours, unless you want to destroy British tradespeople of course.

          Reply
        2. a-tracy
          July 10, 2024

          And many more will be coming. How long would the training take if every crew of 3 had a UK trainee who chose construction instead of college/uni?

          Reply
      3. Cliff.. Wokingham.
        July 10, 2024

        There is another problem too according to a local builder who quoted for some work recently:There is a shortage of building materials and those that are available, are very expensive.

        Reply
        1. Mark
          July 10, 2024

          That’s only going to get worse under net zero. Construction to net zero standards will be more costly, resulting in small homes with few windows that will be difficult to sell while the cost of bricks will go through the roof, and be mainly imported.

          Reply
          1. Lifelogic
            July 10, 2024

            Not only that lots of energy going into building and building materials so expensive energy mean expensive houses. Small pokey houses with small pokey windows is the cheapest way to build well insulated but usually very horrible houses and flats.

            The double glazed windows usually steam up inside in no time too.

        2. a-tracy
          July 10, 2024

          Perhaps pre-made housing is available from China in flat packs. £39k. Insulated.
          We’ve already seen modular homes built quickly in Wrexham, they said they were thrown up in the dailypost. See Prefabex rapid living space, planning rules changed to accommodate them.

          https://www.quick-garden.co.uk/log-cabin-house-astrid-insulated-44-mm-cladding-120-m2.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=surfaces_across_Google&utm_campaign=surfaces_across_Google&infinity=ict2~net~gaw~cmp~19420597835~ag~~ar~~kw~~mt~~acr~8308782904&gad_source=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIhKH57JqchwMV7FFHAR2ZUQGnEAQYASABEgLThvD_BwE

          Reply
          1. Stred
            July 10, 2024

            According to the notes, the roof and wall insulation is only an inch thick. Regulations require 15 inches for the roof and 7 inches plus other cavities for walls. It’s only a garden cabin. A large element of construction cost is services and groundwork.

          2. a-tracy
            July 11, 2024

            Thanks, Stred, very interesting. I wonder if there is a flat-pack log cabin house with the required insulation; the Chinese seem to be able to build a massive temporary hospital in just ten days, and there is nothing Labour historically likes more than a quick fix.

            Aren’t they building loads of accommodation on previous military bases that will already have the groundwork and services that require some flat-pack homes? Would old empty shopping complexes need much groundwork like the ones in Runcorn, Bedminster, Rochdale, Bristol, and Waverley near Edinburgh? Would they be ripe for quick housing, or wouldn’t the plumbing connections be sufficient?

      4. MFD
        July 10, 2024

        and PeteB we also lack the water infrastructure ie supply and treat as illustrated by the sewerage dumping. The electric is incapable of expansion at the minute because of their stupid windmills!

        We have had no increase in water strage for the cities for over eighty years!
        The Labour politicians proposing all this building have absolutely no technical knowledge of the work they are proposing , even the apprentice toolmaker has no idea where to start to make the proposals a success!

        Reply
        1. PeteB
          July 10, 2024

          Agreed – all infrastructre spending is inadequate for the rate of populatione expansion.
          I had to chuckle seeing new Green MP Adrian Ramsay complaining at a proposed new high voltage network through his constituency. What hope for the new net-zero infrastructure?

          Reply
          1. a-tracy
            July 11, 2024

            The Greens say they support infrastructure development and growth in renewable energy. They pledged £40bn in the shift to a green economy, so what better contingency to put the investment in?

            They specifically said they wanted to invest in energy storage capacity and more efficient electricity distribution, voila. How did they think they’d provide 70% of UKs electricity through wind power by 2030.

      5. Berkshire Alan
        July 10, 2024

        PeteB
        Indeed not many real apprenticeships in the skilled manual trades anymore, so they now learn everything on the job, all the bad habits as well as the good, as they know no better, thus we have a steady dumbing down of skills and knowledge.
        Good ones are worth their weight in Gold and they know it and have plenty of work, hence the chancers survive because they are nearly always readily available.

        Reply
    3. Lifelogic
      July 10, 2024

      The government now has a policy of zero deterrents for migrants, so there will be for more of them arriving legal and illegally. Essentially if you get here you can stay and we will pay for your homes, food, phones, healthcare and benefits from day it seems. Your large extended family can follow too with the same benefits, so vast further tax increases will be needed and more schools, more police, more roads, more social service… The Labour policy to get MI6 or something to tackle the gangs will do virtually nothing but waste even more money.

      Reply
      1. Lifelogic
        July 10, 2024

        “from day one” I meant.

        Reply
      2. BOF
        July 10, 2024

        Depressingly correct LL.

        Reply
      3. Donna
        July 10, 2024

        All true. But then the Not-a-Conservative-Government didn’t really have a deterrent either. The threat of sending about 300 a year to Rwanda wasn’t going to make much difference when it was becoming blindingly obvious that it would never happen.

        Reply
        1. Lifelogic
          July 10, 2024

          Indeed and no refund clauses it seems. Why on earth did Sunak and his government sign such a contract when he knew he was (foolishly) not willing to withdraw from the ECHR and so the policy was going to be a dead duck even in the UK courts. Can we get a refund from Sunak personally for his gross negligence on this? Also perhaps for his lies or stupidity over the “unequivocally unsafe Covid safe” vaccines.

          Worse still Labour have appointed Patrick Vallance as Science Minister with his record and vested interests – so the lies will surely continue no doubt.

          Reply
        2. fishknife
          July 10, 2024

          With respect Donna, you miss the point, Rwanda was a crack in the wall of an impossible situation – not and end in itself. As many have said politics is the Art of the Possible, it was an attempt to think outside the box we have carefully constructed and closed ourselves in. Personally I favour hiring El Adam from the Libians and constructing a processing centre there, having parked a redundant aircraft carrier mid channel as a reception centre.

          Reply
          1. Donna
            July 10, 2024

            With respect, I don’t think I missed the point. The point was so Rishi and the LibCONs could loudly proclaim they were stopping the boats whilst doing SFA to actually do it.

            Why? I think there was a secret deal with Macron that “we’d take our fair share” … in return for what? ….. so Sunak pretended to want to stop them and Macron pretended he was trying. It’s the only thing that explains the close cooperation between the Border Farce and the French authorities.

          2. Mitchel
            July 11, 2024

            A nice,prestigious target for the Houthis – who have said they might expand their activities to the Mediterranean.I’m sure they have (probably quite keen) admirers amongst some of the Libyan factions.

      4. Ed M
        July 10, 2024

        @Lifelogic,

        You’re living in Harry Potter world if you think we can cut down a lot on immigration without doing serious damage to our economy.
        Sure, we can certain sharpen up immigration. But not drastically reduce it (without seriously damaging our economy).
        The fact of the matter is that millions of native Brits (and people in the West in general) have serious psychological problems / trauma (mainly from childhood but in general because of the rat-race world we live in) as well as being spoilt – and as a result are UNPRODUCTIVE from one degree to another.
        So how to address that?
        The Tory Party has to work closer with people in the churches, arts, media and education to encourage more traditional Conservative cultural values in the population (values such as work ethic, personal responsibility, family, community and country – patriotism).
        Otherwise there is no other way to square the circle except if you believe in the magic of Dumbledore.

        Reply
        1. Ed M
          July 10, 2024

          ‘Sure, we can certain sharpen up immigration. But not drastically reduce it (without seriously damaging our economy)’ – I meant filter for higher quality immigrants and stop less qualified ones coming in.

          Reply
        2. MFD
          July 10, 2024

          Stop paying the layabouts money they can live on, gradually reduce over six or seven months .
          In my life time we payed stamp insurance and if you drew from that too much it ended after two years! You then lost government support, that needs to come back!

          Reply
          1. Ed M
            July 10, 2024

            I agree to a degree for sure.
            But if you draw someone off their mother’s teat (welfare etc) too, they’re going to scream for more. That could lead to all kinds of really serious dysfunction and crime and chaos in society. Welfare keeps millions quiet like mother’s milk or morphine.

            So you have to fill their emptiness / chaos with something (i.e. traditional Conservative cultural values) otherwise the UK would turn into the West Bank, and spilling over into the leafy areas too.

            This is a key issue everyone seems to be ignoring (at least in public).

          2. Ed M
            July 10, 2024

            You could get away with it in Victorian England.
            But not now – with modern weapons and technology and gang culture and drugs – people being potentially far more dangerous.

      5. Christine
        July 10, 2024

        If the amnesty for 100k illegal immigrants goes ahead then you can multiply the numbers many times. Whereas British citizens have to meet a high threshold to bring family members here this doesn’t apply to asylum seekers. The government even waives the visa fee for family unification. Any migrant or student from a commonwealth country or Ireland has an immediate right to vote in our elections. If these people are spread out around the country, Labour has more voters for the next election. The Conservatives are toast but it’s all their own doing. RIP England, killed off by politicians and voter apathy.

        Reply
      6. a-tracy
        July 11, 2024

        I wonder about these often men who come to the UK, did they do any useful qualifications at school, college? Do we just get the unproductive.

        Reply
    4. Ian wragg
      July 10, 2024

      830 per day, 7 days a week. 1.5 million new all electric houses adding 5gw to electricity demand, no new base load power stations being built and all gas fired stations shut down to decarbonise grid by 2030
      Wind other day supplying 0.54gw.
      Popcorn time.

      Reply
      1. Mark
        July 10, 2024

        There’s probably 3GW of industrial demand that will close. Add in more remittance payments from new arrivals and there will be a lot of strain on the balance of payments.

        Reply
      2. Lifelogic
        July 10, 2024

        Indeed an all electric house with heat pumps, EV cars…might well use up to 100 times as much electricity as one that uses gas for heating, hot water, cooking, kettle, and petrol cars… only using electricity for Led lighting and TV, fridge/freezer and IT/computers. Not only this the heating demand is mainly in a few very cold winter weeks, perhaps 10+ times the summer demand.

        So the grid and generators have to cope with this high winter demand but this capacity is largely wasted for 80% of the year. So vastly capital intensive per MWH used or transmitted.

        Reply
        1. Lifelogic
          July 10, 2024

          Solar is useless for this mainly winter demand as you get most of the electricity in Summer around lunchtime not in Dec, Jan Feb in the evenings and nights.

          Reply
      3. Lifelogic
        July 10, 2024

        An all electric house with EV cars might well use 20,000+ KWH PA unless you keep it mainly cold. A house using electricity only for LED lights, fridge/freezer and W/M plus IT might need as little as 2,000 KWH one tenth. Especially if the Washing is done cold or with gas/oil heated hot water.

        Reply
      4. Lynn Atkinson
        July 10, 2024

        I’m watching with glee. Thank God it’s Labour in the hot seat.

        Reply
      5. a-tracy
        July 10, 2024

        Perhaps they’ll all have solar panels or solar windows, prefabs with insulation, or a mini windmill or two nearby in the estate.

        Reply
    5. Ian B
      July 10, 2024

      @Mark B – Ah, but they got the headline writers to make everyone believe that a pronouncement is doing something

      Reply
    6. Peter
      July 10, 2024

      Obviously Labour will fail to meet that target. Whether voters will hold it against them or put it down to electioneering is another matter.

      Meanwhile on Conservative Home John Redwood asks :-
      ‘ Why did so many former Conservative voters abandon the party?’ Most issues are raised – apart from the trustworthiness and honesty of many of the party’s senior figures.

      It’s not really a Conservative site, so don’t bother about the responses. Half of them are from Labour Party trolls.

      However, the party was not reduced to 60 or so MPs as predicted. It still has some way to go before it goes the way of The Whigs.

      It will continue with the One Nation stuff and hope Labour comes unstuck at some point. It will not have much to differentiate itself from Labour or Lib Dem. Words like ‘pragmatism’ and ‘flexibility’ will be used to justify any to clearly outlined or firmly held policies.

      Reply
      1. Peter
        July 10, 2024

        Absence of clearly outlined or firmly held policies.

        Reply
      2. a-tracy
        July 10, 2024

        I think they’ll hit the target; they won’t be buildings like you’re expecting but Gorbal like rebuilding can be done quickly.

        Reply
  2. agricola
    July 10, 2024

    Surely the need for housing is from among the financially low end indigenous population and the millions of migrants legal and illegal that governments have incentivised to come to the UK. Mortgage availability is not so relevant because that end of the market can not afford a mortgage or the instability of interest rates.

    The need is therefore for social housing at affordable rents. Such housing needs to be adjacent where the above segment of the population work. No point in having it in sunny Wokingham if the people have to commute to centeal London for their work.

    Ergo, cheap affordable money needs to be made available to local authorities where the demand exists. Government needs to ensure that the standards of what is built is high, a failure of the recent past. For speed and consistent quality, factory building should replace brick on brick. Do whatever needs to be done to the planning system to facilitate it.

    If Labour new idea of a national investment bank is to work then its offer to potential investors must be higher than the 5.2% available to investors for one year fixed bonds and the tax on the dividend needs needs to be eliminated. Investment needs incentives not penalties.

    Not having voted for them, I wish them well, but judgement will be on results.

    Reply
    1. agricola
      July 10, 2024

      It is 09.03 hrs. My contribution was posted around 06.00hrs . At the moment some 20% of all contributions moderated come from one source , some 10 at the last count and no doubt it will grow as the day progresses. If you consider this either balanced or normal after your regular missives on moderation they were meaningless. What I suggested as a source that so disturbed you was a joke, not appreciated, to become a sick joke. You really need to get a grip.

      Reply
  3. Bloke
    July 10, 2024

    Build more houses? No! Reduce the excessive growing population.
    Ben Habib of Reform stated yesterday that one new home needs to be built every minute just to keep up with increasing migration. Maybe that’s accurate, or maybe not. However, our country has been increasingly covered in thick concrete slabs for far too long. Stop it and solve the problem at source!

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      July 10, 2024

      Ben Habib is a good man so I am sure he will have it right. He read Nat Sci Cambridge, I have yet to hear him say a single thing I disagree with.

      He is certainly sound on the Net Zero lunacy, renewables and housing/property, the economy, the EU, healthcare, education, defence and how to reduce migration. Certainly the Starmer agenda will increase immigration hugely and Starmer is wrong on all of these issues too.

      Reply
      1. Bloke
        July 10, 2024

        Well put.

        Reply
    2. Everhopeful
      July 10, 2024

      You have put it in a nutshell!
      And what about our quality of life?
      And that of the newcomers come to that?
      Eventually everyone will have to live in those “coffin homes” like they have in Hong Kong ( was that Boris’s idea for the U.K.?)
      Well…except the politicians I daresay.

      Reply
  4. Michelle
    July 10, 2024

    The UK government does not have planning control outside of England and the devolved governments have not agreed to match England. Well no worries, Labour will be more than happy to concrete over England to ensure housing for all who wish to come here.
    I hope every middle class Labour voter has any eye sore estate full of ‘diversity’ built near them and I hope every Labour voter on the housing waiting list has to watch as the more ‘diverse’ people are given first dibs on housing.
    Spiteful?? Yes, that’s how I feel about it all.
    All of this is because the Conservatives from Cameron onward lied about being Conservative on immigration, so I hold a special grudge against them.

    Reply
    1. Everhopeful
      July 10, 2024

      Gosh!
      How I support you in your wish list.
      In fact I will add your hopes to my prayers.
      Good thinking.

      Reply
    2. a-tracy
      July 10, 2024

      Why would they build them in middle class Labour area? If I were them, I’d put them in Lib Dem, Green and Tory areas near railway hubs, with school places available. Most labour voters want to live in places they can’t afford to.

      Reply
  5. Geoffrey Berg
    July 10, 2024

    It is apparent to me that the plan to build 300,000 homes a year is doomed because there aren’t enough specialist workers in construction to do so.

    Reply
    1. Clough
      July 10, 2024

      That is quite right. Rachel Reeves, Angela Rayner and co. never refer to this because they don’t have a solution to it. Or maybe they do, and they don’t want to tell us. It could be they mean to import thousands of EU construction workers.

      Reply
      1. IanT
        July 10, 2024

        Maybe that’s the plan! 🙂

        Reply
    2. Mark B
      July 10, 2024

      Geoffrey

      Back in the days of the old Soviet Union it was alleged that, when announcing a new 5 Year Plan, they would increase tractor production. And every year of that 5 Year Plan the news announced said increase in tractors.

      It is an old trick, but alas, it does rather seem to work.

      Reply
    3. Donna
      July 10, 2024

      You know many of the dinghy criminals are brain surgeons, AI experts and scientists? Well the rest are architects, civil engineers and highly skilled construction workers.

      Reply
    4. Lifelogic
      July 10, 2024

      Their insane net zero plan, heat pump plan, EV plan, grid expansion, renewables expansion, carbon capture plans also all doomed for lack of suitable workers and their vast costs. This for zero (indeed actually a huge negative) return.

      Reply
  6. R.Grange
    July 10, 2024

    I am disappointed to see you are again repeating Labour’s bogus claim that housing targets were removed. May I suggest you read Chapter 6 of the December 2023 National Planning Policy Framework to familiarise yourself with the actual position?

    The council’s head of planning in your local area knows very well that no new ‘freedom’ was granted to councils by the NPPF to determine housing need, and has said so. But of course he is a LibDemmer. He doesn’t need to pretend with the Tories that councils were given more flexibility, and therefore we should vote Tory, or to pretend with Labour that councils were allowed to backslide on housing, and therefore we should vote Labour. The media meme about removing local planning targets was just a PR stunt by Michael Gove after the Chesham & Amersham by-election shock, and has now simply played into the hands of Labour.

    Reply Not true. The National Planning Policy was amended

    Reply
    1. R.Grange
      July 10, 2024

      Amended with a fairly trivial change to the 5-year rule, and very little else. Please take the time to read what the current NPPF actually says, Sir John, rather than repeating Labour mythology.

      Labour are trying on the same trick with illegal migration, saying they will ‘create’ a Border Command to control entry, when in fact we already have one. Border Force is ‘responsible for securing the UK border.. by enforcing immigration and customs regulations’.

      The journos might fall for Labour trickery, but no-one else should, least of all your good self.

      reply I have of course read the National Planning Policy and was part of the group of MP s who got Gove to amend it in 2023. No one claimed a Council could plan to build no homes. Without a national target they needed to base their plan on assessed local need.

      Reply
      1. R.Grange
        July 10, 2024

        I’m sorry to have to insist, Sir John, but the document I read is headed National Planning Policy Framework December 2023, and requires local councils to calculate housing need using the government’s standard formula, as before. I cannot understand how you seem to have overlooked this. Perhaps you may have read earlier drafts of the NPPF. As for what Michael Gove may have told you, no comment. I will say no more on this, but invite anyone interested to read the NPPF for themselves. It’s easily found online.

        reply Gove changed it as I described and Labour are changing it back. I agree Councils needed to assess local need.

        Reply
  7. David Andrews
    July 10, 2024

    Are there enough builders and building businesses available to build all these extra houses? Or do we need more immigration to fill the gap between the government’s demand and the building industry’s capacity?

    All those extra houses will need to be supplied with appliances. Most will, I imagine, have to be imported. Where are the exports to pay for these imports coming from? Finance and skills are in short supply for many export businesses too.

    With high corporate taxes and suggestions of another 50 billion of taxes on the Labour government agenda and the prospect of higher energy costs from the government’s newly energy policy, why should anyone risk investing private capital in the UK? All I see is a cash drain from the markets and a brain drain from businesses as CEOs and others quit asap before they are taxed to death.

    Reply
    1. Sir Joe Soap
      July 10, 2024

      So our host’s answer, and I’m sure most on the left will agree, is reduce interest rates, reduce value of £, pay ever increasing wages and material costs to host half the world’s population in new houses they’ll never genuinely afford.

      Reply No! I have proposed much bigger cuts in migration.

      Reply
    2. Hat man
      July 10, 2024

      Yes, David, the government will surely need to open the door to thousands more foreign construction workers, who will be working here for quite some time. Some of them will want to bring dependants with them. So more houses will be needed, just for this influx. The proper solution would be to increase the level of skills training for the native population. But that would take time, and governments tend to go for quick solutions, before the next election happens. This country needs to break out of its chronic short- termism in the way it’s run, but I’m not optimistic that our new rulers will do so.

      Reply
      1. Wanderer
        July 10, 2024

        @Hat Man. They may open the door to foreign construction workers, but it doesn’t mean they come. I’ve just spent s few years in Vienna, where there’s a building boom. The workers are predominantly foreign, not Austrian, from Hungary mostly, and Serbia. I met quite a few who’d worked in Britain but felt that – notwithstanding any Brexit restrictions- there were far richer pickings in Austria and Germany, only a car journey from their homelands.

        Reply
    3. Ian B
      July 10, 2024

      @David Andrews – the Socialist ideal as demonstrated by Sunak/Hunt taxes are the new income they are the Countries wealth – the economy, earning and wealth creation is now nothing tod do with anything

      Reply
  8. Old Albion
    July 10, 2024

    Concreting over England to house the world. Stop immigration; no need for 300,000 houses on what’s left of our country.

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      July 10, 2024

      Nearly all the new build houses and flats seem to be dire shoe boxes with no storage almost no garden with zero scope to extend or improve later. Once you outgrow (with children) you usually have to move and spend even more on legals, agent fees, Stamp Duty…

      Reply
    2. Wanderer
      July 10, 2024

      @Old Albion. Unfortunately for us Sir Kier prefers Davos to Westminster. So nothing’s going to stop.

      Reply
      1. Ian B
        July 10, 2024

        @Wanderer – and he is proud to make sure people know that

        Reply
      2. Lifelogic
        July 10, 2024

        +1

        Reply
    3. MFD
      July 10, 2024

      Exactly, I do wonder at the intelligence of the people who vote for the toolmakers apprentice !
      as was the old saying “doomed”

      Reply
  9. Sir Joe Soap
    July 10, 2024

    Ridiculous. Credit is NOT expensive. It’s below the increase in the cost of just about anything over the past few years excepting for the past few months. The obvious answer is 1. for the new entrants to the country to become self supporting so that they can afford any new housing rather than print and chuck money at them 2020-1 style and 2. free the rental market from daft regulation.

    Reply Most people and companies pay well over base rate for a loan

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      July 10, 2024

      Property development capital is likely to cost about 10% APR plus fees, valuations, legal costs, late penalties, land reg. costs and far more for still many higher risk borrowers. Plus they often will only lend 50% or so.

      Reply
      1. Lifelogic
        July 10, 2024

        Inflation is now back to 2%. So 8% over inflation.

        Reply
    2. Lynn Atkinson
      July 10, 2024

      Reply to reply – apparently the Bank’s margin is sacrosanct!

      Reply
      1. Lifelogic
        July 10, 2024

        I used to borrow at about base plus 1.5% or base plus 2% secured on property and on deposits got about base rate so a spread of 2% now the banks seem to want base plus 4.5% min on similar lending up to 35%+ on some lending plus you are luck to get base less 2-3% on deposits without tying it up.

        Reply
        1. Lynn Atkinson
          July 10, 2024

          +1. A cartel?

          Reply
  10. Berkshire Alan
    July 10, 2024

    Building houses is rather more complicated than simply demanding more and more numbers.
    Why does it take so long,
    Finding suitable land/plots at the right price, gaining planning permission can be lengthy when there are arguments over design, suitability, density, access etc etc.
    Construction companies like to keep a land bank with planning permission on hold for a period, simply because they need to utilise the core staff they employ in work on a continuous and planned basis, no point in steaming ahead and building everything as soon as you can, then having to sack everyone because you have no land for the future.
    Housebuilding is a risk business requires large capital investment, and is governed by supply, demand, availability of suitable finance, and confidence in the economy and the future for the final purchasers.
    At all times the Government or local authority make money on all houses built.
    The Government gets tax on the profit on the land sale, the profit on the Builders business, the profit on all of the subcontractors, materials supplied/used, income tax on all wages paid, and Stamp duty on the eventual sale price. Plus the tax on the profit from the Banks or finance companies used, and income tax on all of its employees,
    The Local Authority gets a large payment from the builder on every house built (used to be a section 106 agreement) and then on going Council tax receipts from the owners.
    Thus a huge cost of housing goes into the coffers of Government and local authorities.
    The greater the need, the more the cost, we do not make land, so that is fixed, all we can do is re-lable what we have got, and the more the population expands the more re-labling will be required.
    Take out productive farm land, and you need to import more, build more houses and you need more infrastructure, and the availability of power, and water.
    Building houses is a risky business, but provides a huge number of jobs and income for the Government.

    Reply
  11. Stephen Reay
    July 10, 2024

    Remember the previous government s help to buy scheme? Well all that achieved was to increase demand and increase house prices, low interest rates do the same , it about finding the right balance.

    Reply
    1. Ian B
      July 10, 2024

      @Stephen Reay – that’s why the major builders are holding back, just waiting, ‘help-to-buy’ inflates prices and increases profits. Its a mismatch, it gets those that cant afford something to fund those that can. A bit like the EV project, enjoyed by those with money – funded by those that have no hope of getting into the market. The Socialist redistribution of wealth

      Reply
    2. formula57
      July 10, 2024

      @ Stephen Reay – Could not it be that there is no ”right balance” to be found?

      It is, surely, extremely difficult to set an interest rate that both brings forth more construction and yet does not see property prices being bid up, especially so in a market facing material under-supply with demand increasing constantly. Also highly significant is the terms upon which credit is extended. In that latter connection, recall on the demand side that once the banks poached upon building societies’ pitch, mortgages became much easier to obtain, being more plentiful, and that fuelled property price rises.

      Reply
      1. Ian B
        July 10, 2024

        @formula57 – surely the point is if you distort the market, the market gets distorted and we all pay. There was a time that governments fought the money markets, they lost we all paid.

        Reply
  12. Lifelogic
    July 10, 2024

    “the Bank’s money squeeze”

    Indeed this is doing huge damage. HMRC has huge arrears on VAT and PAYE receipts I understand in historical terms (as so many companies have cashflow issues and are in the brink of going bust). It would be good to know the figures on this. Many still repaying covid loans and in a very difficult market.

    Dyson sensible cutting back jobs in the UK. This as Labour propose even more mad employment red tape from day one. Come in John welcome to your first day at X company. I am sorry sir but I cannot work today I have my paternity leave. Oh, so how do I even know it is your baby and why did you not tell me before today! I do not have to sir so get lost!

    Reply
  13. Roy Grainger
    July 10, 2024

    “We had such targets until September 2023 when they were removed. When we had them the system did not deliver 300,000 a year.”

    Just on a point of information when we had targets was the target to deliver 300,000 a year ? If the target was lower then the fact it didn’t deliver 300,000 is irrelevant.

    What Labour are doing on planning is a necessary but not sufficient measure to deliver more houses. You note another is for the BoE to stop the credit squeeze – I think you’ll find that all those at the BoE setting interest rate policy and running their little models will suddenly have a much more optimistic view of the economy and will do whatever they can to accommodate Labour’s wishes – the entire Civil Service have basically been having parties to celebrate Labour’s win.

    reply The last government had a target to get to 300,000 in 2025.The credit crunch got in the way of hitting the targets.

    Reply
    1. Ian B
      July 10, 2024

      @reply – do you mean the credit crunch forced on us by Hunt/Sunak when they raise taxes to force inflation on the Country. Causing prices and inflation to rise and holding back the economy?

      Reply
  14. Narrow Shoulders
    July 10, 2024

    I have to disagree about a credit squeeze Sir John.

    House prices are high due to demand but also due to the availability of large amounts of credit at silly multiples of earnings. If it was more difficult to raise money to buy a house they would not be so expensive.

    I fear for the type of houses that will be built, little boxes made of ticcy tacky.

    Reply
    1. IanT
      July 10, 2024

      Your last sentence made me think of the post-war ‘Pre-Fabs’ that I remember well from growing up in London (one of my friends lived in one). So I took a look at the ‘Pre-Fab’ entry in Wikipedia and found it an interesting read. This statement struck me – “The combined effect of war and a lack of materials had a huge impact on the volume and quality of available housing stock. Contemporary estimates suggest that there was a shortage of 200,000 homes nationally”. I do wonder about that number (given the bomb damage) but if correct does give one pause for thought.

      You do have to question why we now need to build 300,000 new homes a year today? Especially when our birth rate has fallen a good deal since the baby boomer days. What has changed I wonder?

      Reply
    2. Mitchel
      July 10, 2024

      Got to keep the ponzi going!

      Reply
    3. Lynn Atkinson
      July 10, 2024

      In (first) world terms, our houses are not expensive. Our income is low because we overtax.
      Replacing mortgages with a bond would also relieve the constant crisis in the housing market.

      Reply
  15. Narrow Shoulders
    July 10, 2024

    The case for solar and wind can easily be made. All that is needed is a simple list oft he days when the current capacity was at maximum use. This will prove that we need more capacity.

    Won’t it?

    Reply
    1. Narrow Shoulders
      July 10, 2024

      Surely a Labour government won’t just pay people to dig holes?

      Reply
      1. IanT
        July 10, 2024

        I’m quite sure they are very capable of digging their own holes – and are busy doing so…

        Reply
        1. Lynn Atkinson
          July 10, 2024

          🤣😂specialists at it! Let’s give them more shovels ….

          Reply
  16. Donna
    July 10, 2024

    Have they announced the new tractor production target yet? I haven’t been paying attention.

    I do know that their obsession with windmills, solar panels and massive pylons is going to meet the hard rock of reality before long. They will do absolutely nothing to promote growth, except growth in imports.

    Middle class people who say they support the environment/renewable energy, didn’t actually mean they support a massive wind farm in their neighbourhood. Any more than they support massive house building in their “special” areas.

    Reply
    1. Ian B
      July 10, 2024

      @Donna – welcome to our new Socialist World that has been growing for the last 14 years, imports are growth, taxes and borrowings are earnings. Then as and when they deplete the source, the economy, its wealth creation, where does the money come from?

      Reply
  17. Everhopeful
    July 10, 2024

    Who wants blinking growth anyway?
    Especially since we apparently need to sacrifice our lives for it!

    Reply
  18. Mike Wilson
    July 10, 2024

    The logical conclusion of your argument – that we need several hundred thousand new houses each year – is that eventually the whole country will be covered with housing. No farms, no food production – just one huge, urban sprawl- like Wokingham.
    Will you ever say ‘we have enough houses and people’? We already import half our food. Why does nobody ever question the sustainability of this utter insanity?

    Reply Why do you always misrepresent me? I have consistently argued for much lower migration and less need for more homes.

    Reply
    1. IanT
      July 10, 2024

      I’ve just checked the 2021 Census for Wokingham; “In Wokingham, the population size has increased by 15.0%, from around 154,400 in 2011 to 177,500 in 2021. This is higher than the overall increase for England (6.6%)”

      So my feeling that we are growing pretty rapidly seems well founded. We have had further building since then with a lot more homes scheduled over the next few years. Am I being a ‘Nimby’ to be concerned about this Sir John?

      Reply
    2. Paula
      July 10, 2024

      Reply to reply

      For over a decade we tried to get you to talk about immigration – it’s only been a relatively recently open topic on this site.

      Immigration has destroyed your party.

      Reply Not true.I have always argued for much lower migration.

      Reply
  19. Ian wragg
    July 10, 2024

    830 per day, 7 days a week. 1.5 million new all electric houses adding 5gw to electricity demand, no new base load power stations being built and all gas fired stations shut down to decarbonise grid by 2030
    Wind other day supplying 0.54gw.
    Popcorn time.

    Reply
    1. Ian B
      July 10, 2024

      @Ian wragg – yep, cart before the horse

      Reply
    2. Donna
      July 10, 2024

      Better start looking out for your own energy resilience as best you can.

      Reply
    3. a-tracy
      July 10, 2024

      Why are you assuming they won’t have a windmill, solar roofs, tiny windows, more insulation, walls & roofs, smaller rooms, and lower ceilings in the new estate the size of Milton Keynes?

      Reply
      1. Lynn Atkinson
        July 10, 2024

        No point having a windmill if there is no wind or solar panels if there is no sun. Don’t know about where you are, but it has drizzled persistently for 48 hours in Northumberland. It’s 10th July!

        Reply
    4. Mike Wilson
      July 10, 2024

      It’ll be alright once they carpet the land with wind turbines. AI robots are going to make human work redundant. Our job will be to sit on a bike for a few hours a day, with a dynamo pumping raw electricity into the grid. Praise be.

      Reply
  20. Everhopeful
    July 10, 2024

    Can politicians make new land then?
    When they conceived the idea of bringing the entire world ( without his wife) here, did they believe they could?
    Did their ludicrous brush with AI make them think that they have God-like powers?
    No amount of stupid cult programmes on tv about living in the back of a mini van sans every amenity can alter the fact….
    The U.K. is full to bursting.

    Reply
    1. Paula
      July 10, 2024

      Many older people are now living in vans off grid. They are doing proper paid jobs but cannot find affordable houses. They have little choice and get no state support. I know of three now who are doing this.

      Reply
  21. Everhopeful
    July 10, 2024

    I have heard an ex Tory MP say that all this is down to gross inefficiency.
    I am slightly happy with that explanation because the fault could be rectified
    But surely not? How could anyone be so stupid as to try to cram a pint into a half pint pot?
    Thus the powers that be must have a truly terrible, not worth living, constantly degrading mode of living in store for us.
    And we have no power to stop them.

    Reply
    1. Lynn Atkinson
      July 10, 2024

      Of course we have! Cut off the money supply (legally); spend the profits on upgrading stock etc. Sack the politicians every election. Insist on choosing your own candidates so the current political class are returned to being citizens. Stop employing and giving business to the immigrants.
      You sustain them – Turkish haircuts, curries, etc etc etc.

      Reply
      1. Everhopeful
        July 10, 2024

        You have the answer then.
        So pray….go to it.
        I would happily join your party or group.
        And follow orders.

        Reply
        1. Lynn Atkinson
          July 10, 2024

          I urge you to think like an individual and do whatever you can to support that natives – exclusively. It’s a no brainier really. There are 66 million of us, stop wringing your hands.
          I don’t give orders.

          Reply
    2. Mike Wilson
      July 10, 2024

      And we have no power to stop them.

      I feel we’re in the Last Chance Saloon. At the next election, one final chance to stop the insanity. VOTE REFORM.

      Reply
      1. Lynn Atkinson
        July 10, 2024

        Let’s see how they do first shall we?
        I look forward to hearing of the network of associations being set up across the country and how you all select your Reform Candidate.
        Farage has broken convention already. The Maiden Speech is supposed to be non-political. I’m not keen on conventions being trashed. It’s what has brought us to this pass.

        Reply
    3. MFD
      July 10, 2024

      but we have, we need to use our strength and physically FIGHT as a Brit or are you a wuss?

      Reply
      1. Lynn Atkinson
        July 10, 2024

        We can fight in other ways too. Money talks. Together we have lost of it – more than the Government takes. How we spend it is important.

        Reply
  22. Ian B
    July 10, 2024

    Sir John
    Just more nonsense throw away patronizing virtue signalling statements, a follow on from the Conservative Government all noise no action. We need people as our government to do things not talk about doing things. Less noise more action.

    Reply
    1. Ian B
      July 10, 2024

      The major builders have enough in their ‘Land Banks’, the greater majority with full planning permission to fulfil England’s own needs for the next 10 years. So clearly all the noise is about nothing.

      What you don’t do is break ground if you are not going to make a profit by having buyers that can fund the projects. By funding you are relating to the purchase of the next plot of land to replace the one you are building on, i.e. that means paying tomorrows price not today’s for all new builds.

      Reply
      1. Mark
        July 10, 2024

        The prices for land in land banks are agreed long in advance, usually secured via an option to purchase that costs little but assumes that prices will rise to justify the strike price. If that doesn’t happen the land is not actually acquired, and the option eventually lapses. Only at that point can a more realistic price be set on the land. Rising building costs also eat into the profitability of building projects. I suspect the combination of attacks on private landlords and higher costs will lead to falling prices and a fall in housing starts because builders will not build hard to sell homes at a loss.

        Reply
        1. Lynn Atkinson
          July 10, 2024

          +1 I sold a building site to a young man who is a builder. It’s worth building for himself, it keep him in work and he’s ‘earning money’ which is paid in a lump sum after he occupies the property long enough to sell without CGT. Of course the new build was VAT free too.
          So a lovely big house in the conservation area on .5 of an acre. Stunning open views and unique. Anything less might have been too much of a risk.
          Unless you have a legal way to avoid tax, hardly anything is financially viable these days.

          Reply
  23. George Sheard
    July 10, 2024

    Hi sir John
    Who is building all these houses?
    Who is putting the money forward to pay for them to be built ?
    The government, councils, private builder’s,
    It won’t be Birmingham city council the are closing the city down .

    Reply
    1. a-tracy
      July 10, 2024

      Shelter said “147,409 social homes have been built since 2010/11” Not sure if Housing England funded them.

      Private builders build most new homes and they have to build a proportion affordable/social in my town it was 25% of the new homes. [“17 May 2023 — Since 2010, some 51,000 new affordable homes have been completed each year on average.C4”

      Building work froze in my town this past year, after lots of Housing England funding, and finally, they’ve restarted the building projects this week.

      Reply
  24. Rod Evans
    July 10, 2024

    It would be worth looking at the house building requirement from a practical viewpoint.
    Houses are required because of two driving issues.
    1. Demand for homes by increasing population.
    2. Replacement of existing housing that has decayed beyond economic repair.
    The first driver of house demand is influenced by immigration and birth rate. As our birth rates are declining and are below replacement level then it would suggest the need for housing is dropping. However the incoming migrants have a birth rate more than double the native population’s average thus housing demand will increase along with the increase in migrant numbers and with migrant habits.
    The second driver i.e. decay of housing is more stable and can be flexed as tolerance of decay increases.
    With 30 million homes in the UK and the average age being only 50 years it suggests the replacement rate is 600,000/yr just for replacement of decay!?
    Clearly another dimension must be in play because we know houses will last well beyond 50 years let’s be generous and say 150 years is the economic life of a structure. If that is the case then to replace existing stock requires 200,000 houses are built each year.
    If we now add in the immigration demand which is running at about 700,00 souls/year that requires at least another 175,000 homes based on four people/house.
    With these numbers in mind, conservative numbers I might add then the the UK requires we build 400,000 houses/yr to try and get ahead of the demand curve.
    If anyone imagines we have the resources or chance of achieving that, I can only think they live in a very optimistic world.
    The only option is to reduce demand.

    Reply
  25. gregory martin
    July 10, 2024

    Costs of house building increased considerably in April 2022 when construction and quarrying lost the rebate of duty on red diesel. It is now illegal to use low duty fuel other than for agriculture and fish farming. This affects not only excavators , dumpers and crushers but also generators, pumps and ancillary plant.

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      July 10, 2024

      Indeed yet another Tory tax grab.

      Reply
  26. Ian B
    July 10, 2024

    Sir Keir Starmer has refused to guarantee he will meet his flagship commitment on defence spending within his first term in office, despite a “cast iron” promise to get there.

    Just as with Sunak all talk to get votes, just like Sunak it ‘could’ happen after the next election in 5 years time – if you vote for ME again.

    Were and why do we keep getting these numpties from?

    Reply
    1. Lynn Atkinson
      July 10, 2024

      Germany has announced it is cutting defence spending 🍾

      Reply
  27. George
    July 10, 2024

    Hi sir John
    Off the subject
    My daughter in law works as a train manager doing Manchester and Bournemouth
    the end of june
    She failed her eye test so was stopped working with pay untill she got her glasses a week later she got her glasses and went into work . She was told that she could not go back to work until she had seen the work doctor . The shock was that she could not see the works doctor untill September and was sent home on full pay
    No wonder our trains get cancelled due to staff shortages .

    Reply
    1. a-tracy
      July 10, 2024

      Oh, that silly lots of opticians around, they should use Specsavers or Boots.

      Reply
    2. Lifelogic
      July 10, 2024

      Bonkers what is the works doctor going to do that the optician has not done already! Just sign off in some way I suppose. The delayed doctor costing them a few £ thousands of pay for no work.

      Reply
  28. Bryan Harris
    July 10, 2024

    Surely it is about time HMG revised the devolution regulations to impose logical solutions.

    If anywhere has the capacity to grow the number of new houses, it is Scotland – Why is this being ignored?

    Instead, England, particularly in the south, is becoming ever more crowded, with infrastructure groaning under the weight of ever more people to serve.
    To quote a last generation socialist minister; ” Where is the joined up government thinking?”

    Clearly the answer to the housing shortage is to stop people migrating here, but ministers, especially of the new regime. turn a blind eye to this idea – Instead they fall back on globalist woke ideology, with a determination to utterly destroy what is left of our country!

    None of these ministers, were or are, working for the good of the British people!

    Reply
  29. Original Richard
    July 10, 2024

    “They want to double onshore wind, treble solar and quadruple offshore wind investment.”

    It is not an investment it’s simply wasted money. At the next renewables auction fixed offshore wind is £100/MWhr, floating offshore wind (recommended by SKS at his GB Energy launch in Scotland) is £242/MWhr and onshore wind is £88/MWhr. Gas is £60/MWhr and coal £30/MWhr excluding the carbon taxes. In addition we either live with chaotic intermittency and rolling blackouts or spend a lot of money on upgrading the national and local grids and to run inefficiently and intermittently a parallel hydrocarbon generating system with or without carbon capture, not that carbon capture yet exists.

    If our electricity bills are to be lower, then these extra costs will need to be either added to general taxation or added to our gas bills, or both.

    Reply
    1. Mark
      July 10, 2024

      I see that Emma Pinchbeck of Energy UK has geen calling for subsidised social tariffs, meanwhile the industry is begging for lots more money to be injected into CFD schemes. We may get a flavour of what will happen at the end of the month when Miliband must decide how much to increase the CFD auction budget. He is not allowed to increase maximum bid prices at this point, and only prequalified projects can bid. If there is little new capacity offered it will not make sense to increase a pot. Because of the cancellations and capacity reductions from AR4 the first 3GW will merely be replacement for cancelled capacity. I think we can expect lavish terms for AR7.

      Reply
  30. Lynn Atkinson
    July 10, 2024

    If the Govt want more houses available then they need to pass a quick law removing restrictions currently on ‘holiday homes’ ‘age related homes’ etc. In addition to the currently 3 million empty homes these would provide millions of home available to satisfy the ‘demand’.
    Then they need to sit down and try to work out why there remains demand – or they could just read Redwood’s blog and get the answer.

    Reply
    1. Mark B
      July 10, 2024

      +1

      Reply
  31. Fran
    July 10, 2024

    All construction and house building apart how can we call it democracy when an English republican cannot take a seat in the House should he be elected all because he is unable to get past the oath of allegience .. makes me wonder

    Reply
    1. formula57
      July 10, 2024

      @ Fran – with ease, because a democracy properly demands that those participating in it acknowledge rules necessarily made to sustain it and refrain from undermining it.

      I would accept that the form of the allegiance oath is antithetical to a republican but the reality is that the allegiance is owed to the State and only to a named individual because of his role in the State.

      Reply
    2. Lynn Atkinson
      July 10, 2024

      Nobody should be allowed to take their seat in our Parliament if they cannot take the Oath of Allegiance. Even Sinn Fein was honourable enough to observe that nicety.
      I am of the view that any MP who breaks the Oath should be barred for life from all elected office and from all work in the state sector.

      Reply
      1. Lynn Atkinson
        July 10, 2024

        PS the Oath is to ‘The King in Parliament’ which is The People.

        Reply
    3. Mike Wilson
      July 10, 2024

      I wish he had made an issue of it and refused this appalling, offensive anachronism.

      Reply
    4. Mike Wilson
      July 10, 2024

      How can you call it democracy when Labour win a huge majority on 9.9 million votes.
      When Reform get more votes than the Lib Dems but have 5 seats against 71 seats.
      Call it what you like, democracy it ain’t.

      Reply
      1. Lynn Atkinson
        July 10, 2024

        You prefer the French system?
        Le Pen got 10 million votes, the new government got 7 million votes.
        That is called gerrymandering and that is what you get when you ditch FPTP.
        We had a very low turnout because we loathe the political class. Nevertheless the government won more votes than any other party. They ALSO won more contests which translates to seats. So the majority of voters got their way.
        THAT IS DEMOCRACY.

        Reply
  32. Christine
    July 10, 2024

    More housebuilding and higher immigration will reduce our food security with less farmland and more people to feed.

    The EU has been wargaming a food crisis. Stress Testing the EU Food System. It’s just a blatant propaganda video where comments aren’t even allowed. They highlight the future risks we face but continue their attack on farmers. Denmark is planning the World’s first carbon tax on livestock which will cost farmers $100 per cow.

    Of course, the lack of food will be blamed on the Climate Emergency.

    Control the food supply and you control the people.

    Reply
    1. Lynn Atkinson
      July 10, 2024

      Hungry people are very dangerous! So are cold people. Very angry and with nothing to lose, they will lay the blame at the Government’s door. Thank God that is at Labour’s door.

      Reply
  33. Keith from Leeds
    July 10, 2024

    Labour can announce whatever they like as housing or other targets. But they are making a rod for their own backs! When they don’t achieve those targets, the voting public will turn on them as viciously as they turned, deservedly so, on the Conservatives.
    The Conservatives need to sideline the One Nation MPs because none of them are proper Conservatives. They need a tough leader who believes in and promotes conservative values. Looking at the voting figures, the Conservatives and Reform combined would have beaten Labour. So somehow, they have to come together, put egos to one side, and do what is best for the UK. Then, when in power, do what they say, and don’t alienate your natural supporters.

    Reply
  34. Derek
    July 10, 2024

    Houses are so expensive also because of the high cost of land and the unwritten law of supply and demand.
    We’ve too many people living here permanently and so it will continue until plain ol’ common sense, reaches the political parts others have not reached.
    Labour now claim they will build 300K new houses per year. At what cost, though? If the land owners cannot afford to build and/or there are a shortage of buyers, will they provide extra funding to the developers and/or the buyers? Where does this money come from?
    Our country, already deep in debt, can neither feed the world nor treat the world nor house the world. So why are we always attempting to do so?
    We need to cut our current overheads to raise more money, just like any business in the Private Sector.
    Why is this new Government not pulling the plugs on a multitude of pet vanity projects and Quangos and the huge number of civil servants, all who are paid by taxpayers? £Billions are at stake here and the tax payers are maxed out already.

    Reply
    1. Lynn Atkinson
      July 10, 2024

      Poor Rachel, she thinks spending money is growth! Boy is she in for a surprise, unless she meant ‘growth in debt’ – which she will achieve as effortlessly as ‘banker Sunak’ did’.
      Neither could hack it as an everyday housewife!

      Reply
  35. Frances
    July 10, 2024

    The Environment Agency says that the southeast will run out of water in under 25 years. Natural resources are finite. Our food security has dropped further. We now only produce 49% of our food.
    Just stop family reunion and stop people sending money home. Then stop rewarding people to have more than one child per person on someone elses taxes.

    Reply
  36. acorn
    July 10, 2024

    Could one of you Redwoodian economic experts, explain to me how a country with a large internal budget deficit; and, a large external budget deficit (Balance of Payments), can start a sovereign wealth fund of £7 billion? Where exactly is that capital coming from, if not from over taxing the citizenry?

    Perhaps the new UK government should ask the Norwegian government how the profits from extracting its finite natural resources; like oil and gas, are put aside into an, interest earning, sovereign wealth fund that mirrors the natural capital that has been depleted.

    Reply Indeed. All borrowed to make risky investment which may lose us money and add more to the debt

    Reply
  37. Paula
    July 10, 2024

    Houses used to be a bi-product of local industry. They were not – and never will be – the source of economic growth in themselves.

    Then there’s green energy supply. The mooted 350,000 green jobs are a cost and not a benefit to the energy consumer (me and you.) We will now have to pay 350,000 people (displaced from redundant real growth industry) for limited electricity supply.

    I don’t just blame Labour as the Conservatives have been pursuing this economic madness for 14 years.

    Reply
  38. Ian B
    July 10, 2024

    When Mrs Thatcher was in power her economic policies and good housekeeping ensured that our national debt to GDP ratio was just 32%. By the time Tony Blair took power debt had dropped to 29%. He then grew it up to 37%. Now after near 25 years of Socialist rule, no one giving two-hoots about having an economy so that debt is now near 100% of GDP. Where the Country earns, its results are just used to pay-down the debt.

    A scary amount of debt. Then as all good Socialist and taking their lead from fellow travellers Sunak/Hunt, the only direction being talked about now is more Tax. That is in reality more money removed from the economy, creating more pressure on debt.

    Not a single one has suggested managing expenditure, not a single one is cutting their own taxpayer funded overheads. Above all not a single one wants the UK to earn to pay its way. The priority is still the UK’s NetZero Laws that none of our competitor Nations have imposed on their people, meaning its government enforced and own produced Laws that force the off-shoring of everything and import the same output at greater cost.

    So, do house building targets matter? We are being forced into the dark ages through incompetence. To build a house you need raw materials, we have the money to pay for these imports. We are banned by Law from being productive and self-reliant. The workers to get to the building site need fuel to get there, we now must import all of it – again the money is used to pay debt. These new green homes need heat pumps, we have to import these, that then costs money that is no longer in the economy, if it was the Law dictates we export it. Then there is the energy to power these homes, we are forced by law to import it. Even the windmills to create magic power we are forced by law to import. Solar power the same, the list is endless. Our politicians, our MP’s, our government past and present have made laws that stop the UK existing, to repeat they have made the Laws that none of our Competitor Nations are burdened by. They have in effect created Laws that means we have to buy from these Law free Competitor Nations to ensure they flourish at the expense of every on living in the UK.

    Reply
  39. Ed M
    July 10, 2024

    I would love to see Sir John, if he has the interest / inclination, to communicate his views on Disraeli (whom I’d like to learn more about).
    I’m a big fan of Edmund Burke – and just read this quote about Disraeli in light of Burke, ‘He [Disraeli] brought politics nearer to poetry, or, at all events, to poetical prose, than any English politician since Burke’ – Llewellyn Woodward.

    Reply
    1. hefner
      July 11, 2024

      There are plenty of very good books on Disraeli, some available for a few pence in the ‘second-hand books’ stalls at National Trust properties. One I really enjoyed was from Robert Blake, there are two editions, the original one from 1966 and a more recent one in the 2010s.

      There is another one, supposedly very good biography by Douglas Hurd.

      Reply
  40. Abigail
    July 10, 2024

    It ain’t gonna work. There are two ways of dealing with the problem. Increasing supply is a bad one. We are already an overcrowded nation, so the best solution is to reduce demand. As you say, we must send home those who shouldn’t be here, unprocessed people living in hotels at taxpayers’ expense, anybody living on the streets who was not born in this country and anybody who was not born here who is found begging. Then we should do something about the foreigners who are using our property stock to launder their money. We also need to tackle the “family” problem, people having children out of wedlock, serial monogamy or people with a number of spouses. I don’t care what culture they came from, but if they want to live here they need to adopt the norm of having one partner for life and not breeding outside that family circle, learning to live in harmony with a spouse who inevitably is different from them – because we are all different – rather than moving on as soon as things become difficult. We could also send to America, which still has lots of space, or to other countries, people who exhibit unhappiness with the British way of life, people who demonstrate in the streets of London about problems in other countries. We could also sterilise rapists. There are lots of ways of reducing demand, but increasing supply is not one of them.

    Reply

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