Chancellor Philip Hammond to prioritise house building over deficit

// HA News

Chancellor Philip Hammond announces that he will prioritise spending on building new homes rather than focusing on eliminating the deficit by 2019-2012, as previous chancellor George Osborne had done.

In an interview with the BBC, Hammond highlighted that Brexit uncertainty required a "pragmatic" response to support growth now. However, he also pointed out that the deficit remained "eye-wateringly large" and would need to be tackled "in due course".

According to the BBC, in his conference speech later Hammond intends on saying that his predecessors deficit tackling strategies "were the right ones for that time, but when times change, we must change with them."

Mr Hammond says that the new measures will restore fiscal discipline in a pragmatic way that reflects the new circumstances we face, with more details to follow in the upcoming Autumn Statement next month.

Paying for new homes

In order to help deliver the 200,000 new homes the Conservatives intend to build by 2020, the government will borrow £2bn to support the "Accelerated Construction" scheme, the intention of which is to develop more brownfield sites for the delivery of new homes. According to Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, this move alone will open up land for the construction of 15,000 homes during this Parliament.

There will also be a £3bn Home Building Fund which will make more money available to builders for loan in order to kickstart projects. This in itself should help provide a further 25,000 homes – only another 160,000 homes to go to meet the target!

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