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April 2, 2008

Prime Minister criticised for mixed messages over affordable housing

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by Kay Mitchell

Prime Minister criticised for mixed messages over affordable housing

The Government is encouraging the construction industry to build more affordable properties but according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), the Government is hampering their efforts.

The FMB has accused Prime Minister Gordon Brown of imposing taxes and restrictive laws on constructors. Consequently, the FMB said it is becoming increasingly difficult to meet the affordable homes targets set out by the Government.

The Government has proposed to build 2 million new homes by 2016, with a further one million, carbon-neutral properties built by 2020.

Brian Berry of the FMB said on the one hand they point the finger at the building industry and demand more affordable housing, and with the other it lays down rules and imposes taxes which make houses more and more expensive to build.

Trying to get planning permission is already an expensive, lengthy and inefficient process, and the Government needs to understand that the more expensive they make it, the less affordable the resulting houses become which is bad news for all those wanting and deserving an affordable home, concluded Mr Berry.

Earlier this week, a survey by the Royal Institution of Charted Surveyors (Rics) showed a decline in construction as a result of the slowdown in the UK housing market.

The Rics UK construction market survey has established just 1% more surveyors are reporting an increase in workloads rather than a fall in the first quarter of 2008, when compared to the fourth quarter of 2007.


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