Qualified advisers answering your
Financial Questions
call 0800 092 1245

Housing tops Brown priorities

Affordable housing is high on the government's legislative agenda, prime minister Gordon Brown has revealed to MPs.In a break from tradition Mr Brown announced a list of bills that are to be introduced by ministers and included in the Queen's Speech this autumn.Explaining his decision to make his agenda public before the Queen's Speech, Mr Brown told MPs he wanted to trigger "widespread debate" about his proposals "in the interests of open government".Responding to the need for affordable housing, which he said was "vital both to securing individual aspirations and a better future for our country", the prime minister raised the government's new housing commitment to 240,000 homes a year, released public sector land and opened up 550 sites owned by central government for potential development.He pledged to protect greenbelt land but said a new era of homebuilding, the third since the second world war, would now be commenced. Chancellor Alistair Darling's plan to increase the supply of long-term fixed-rate mortgages was also confirmed.A new planning bill was announced to speed up the planning system while a pensions bill would ensure that "all working people have the right to a workplace pension".On security Mr Brown said the government was "committing to building a broad consensus" in its criminal justice bill, which would feature new measures to enhance the nation's security from the terror threat.And on health he underlined a "commitment to high quality healthcare", saying a "stronger health and social care regulator" would be introduced as part of the health and social care bill.Conservative leader David Cameron combined a rejection of Mr Brown's policy agenda with his bemusement over the unprecedented decision to pre-empt the Queen's Speech in his response."I know this is meant to be some great constitutional innovation but I have to say much of what the prime minister announced sounded like… [what] we've heard before," he said.He blamed the government for the current supply-demand problem in the housing market and attacked it for failing to produce a referendum on the recently-signed EU treaty."For ten years he has plotted and schemed for the top job but all we've got is a re-release of the 1997 manifesto. The country has moved on but he hasn't," Mr Cameron added.The prime minister responded by attacking the Conservatives' recent policy record, claiming the opposition party had "U-turned" on grammar schools, museum charges, VAT on airline flights and taxes on alcohol in recent months."The Conservative leader can U-turn if he wants – it's clear the Conservative party is not for turning," he said, aping the famous Margaret Thatcher remark.Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell called for more legislative scrutiny, saying what was important was "the quality of legislation as much as the quantity"."The mantra may have been education, education, education but the reality has been legislation, legislation, legislation", he said.Mr Brown replied by pointing out that the average number of bills in parliamentary sessions had fallen from an average of 40 between 1987 and 1997 to around 35 since then.

Share this..

Related stories

Financial Guides

Financial Calculators

Our useful calculators can help you get your finances in order:

Latest News


Helpful new tax year facts that could affect you and your money

Blog | Seven helpful new 2016/2017 tax year facts that could affect you and your money. Our recent online blog shares a brief outline on how to stay up to date.

Read more

Useful Links

Popular Searches

Please Enter More Details

Enter More Details