Sadiq Khan, Zac Goldsmith or whoever else wins the London Mayor election this spring should have the power to levy stamp duty on housing in the capital.
That’s the view of the London Housing Commission, set up last year by the Institute for Public Policy Research think tank, and which has reported this week.
The report suggests that most, but not necessarily all, of the stamp duty revenue in the capital should be kept by the mayor’s office - in return for that, the proceeds should be spent on London housing.
The report also wants London’s City Hall to be given powers to borrow more to increase its spending potential on new homes and public infrastructure; the commission claims around 25,000 new homes are currently built in London a year, which is little more than half the level needed to meet ever-growing demand as the population rises.
The commission, led by Lord Bob Kerslake, recommends that London councils commit to identifying enough land to deliver 50,000 new homes a year for a decade, and the speeding up of London planning consent.
"The London Housing Commission does not claim to have all of the answers, but it is clear that the status quo will not do” says Kerslake.