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“It leaves a lot to be desired” - Propertymark’s Budget verdict

Agents trade body Propertymark has given its verdict on yesterday’s Budget with this statement - “Some good news but it leaves a lot to be desired.”

Timothy Douglas, policy and campaigns manager at the organisation, says: “A rise in the national living wage is good in principle but with inflation expected to top four per cent by the end of the year, higher household bills from the on-going energy crisis, a cost-of-living squeeze, and the cut to Universal Credit, it is unlikely to provide the boost to incomes that’s needed.

"The £65m funding for those in rental debt provides some support but the devil is in the detail. Almost four million low-income households are in arrears with their household bills, yet this money will be targeted at those who are most at risk of homelessness, excluding a significant number of others from help.

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“A £1.8 billion fund for brownfield homes and £11.5 billion for 180,000 affordable homes is welcome, but the latter is not new money and only 32,000 of those homes will be social rented housing – a mere third of what is needed which is simply not enough when council waiting lists are predicted to almost double to 2.1m by next year.

“The UK government has also missed a golden opportunity to reshape an outdated stamp duty land tax system to reflect rising house prices and remove some of the market distortions it causes.

“It is further disappointing there is no reform of the court system to deal with the volume of possession hearings – an estimated 62,000 just in England and Wales alone – or proper funding for landlords so that calls for energy-efficiency improvements on an older private-rented stock are financially viable, and not just hot air.”

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