A round-up of the latest parliamentary business:
All the political parties have now published their manifestos. Some of the key pledges are listed below. A spreadsheet giving details of all relevant policies and pledges is available for members and associates.
- Will introduce a tax on properties worth over £2 million
- Will build at least 200,000 homes a year by 2020 by implementing the recommendations of the Lyons Review.
- Will give local authorities the power to give first call to first time buyers on new homes in areas of housing growth
- Will unlock a Future Homes Fund by requiring that money saved in Help to Buy ISAs is used to increase housing supply.
- Will legislate to make three-year tenancies the norm with a ceiling on excessive rent rises, ban unfair letting agent fees, and introduce a national register of private landlords.
- Will double the number of first-time buyers to 500,000 a year over the next five years.
- Will extend Help to Buy to cover another 120,000 homes, continue the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee until the start of 2017, and the Help to Buy equity loan until at least 2020.
- From this autumn, will introduce a new Help to Buy ISA for first-time buyers.
- Will build 200,000 Starter Homes over the course of the next parliament for first-time buyers under 40 and sold at 20% below the market price.
- Will extend the Right to Buy to tenants in Housing Associations.
- Will aim to at least double the number of custom-built and self-built homes by 2020, and take forward a new Right to Build requiring councils to allocate land to local people to build or commission their own home.
- Will offer 10,000 new homes to rent at below market rates, to help people save for a deposit.
- Will introduce a UK-wide High Value Property Levy on residential properties worth over £2 million.
- Will introduce a new Intermediate Housing Fund to fund intermediate housing products for both affordable rent and shared ownership homes.
- Will introduce a new Rent to Own model where monthly payments steadily accrue the tenant a percentage stake in the property until it is owned outright after 30 years.
- Will improve protections against rogue landlords and encourage a new multi-year tenancy with inflation-linked annual rent increase built in. Enable local authorities to operate licensing schemes for rental properties in areas where they believe it is needed. And ban letting agent fees to tenants if transparency requirements are not successful in bringing fees down to an affordable level by the end of 2016.
- Introduce a new Help to Rent scheme to provide government backed tenancy deposit loans for all first-time renters under 30.
- Will build 300,000 homes a year. A ministerial taskforce will put together a long term plan on how this should be done within within the first year of the next parliament.
Scottish National Party
- Will provide £30 million of ring-fenced support for smaller developers with the Help to Buy Scotland scheme, and to invest £70 million over the next year in the Open Market Shared Equity Scheme for first-time buyers on low or modest incomes.
- Will back plans for an annual UK target of 100,000 affordable homes and use additional capital investment to deliver a further expansion of house building in Scotland for affordable housing for both purchase and rent.
- Will change the law to allow mortgages to become inheritable, to allow lenders to resume lending to older borrowers.
- We will plough 100% of all revenue from Right to Buy sales, after essential costs have been paid back, into new community housing.
- We will not allow non-British nationals access to the Right to Buy or Help to Buy schemes, unless they have served in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.
- Will build 500 affordable rent homes every year.
- Will require the Environment Agency to compile a National Brownfield Sites
- Financial incentives will be offered to encourage developers to build on brownfield sites including the removal of stamp duty on the first £250,000 for new homes built on brownfield sites.
- Will encourage local authorities to require a proportion of self-build plots to be provided in all large developments.
- Will fund a higher standard of independent advice available to all pensioners by doublubg the budget for guidance in 2015/16 to £60 million, and trebling the 2016/17 budget to £30 million.
- Will extend their HomeBuy scheme.
- Will consider the home buying process in Wales particularly with a view to considering the Scottish and Canadian systems where legal fees are paid by the person withdrawing from a deal rather than the purchaser.
- Will reduce VAT on certified house repairs.
- Will strengthen tenants rights through tenancy reform and landlord regulation, establish a reasonable minimum tenancy length of 12 months for those housed into the sector, and implement rent controls.
- Will introduce new higher council tax bands for more expensive homes, with higher rates for empty homes.
- Will scrap Help to Buy and Right to Buy, and gradually phase out Stamp Duty in favour of a Land Value Tax.
- Will introduce a Right to Rent where local councils would step in to help those in difficulty with their mortgage to rent their home.
- Will make buy-to-let less attractive by removing tax incentives including the deduction of mortgage interest.
- Will break up the big builder cartels and diversify the house-building industry so that more homes are built by small and medium sized builders and community led and cooperative initiatives.
- Will build 500,000 social rented homes by increasing the social housing budget from £1.5 billion a year for the lifetime of the parliament.
- Will end mass council house sales and the right to buy at a discounted price.
- Will reform the private rented sector by introducing a “living rent tenancy” including five year fixed tenancy agreements, rent controls that cap annual rent increases, introduce not for profit local letting agencies, and introduce a mandatory licencing scheme for landlords.
The DUP’s manifesto contains no pledges in relation to housing or financial services.
Key dates for the general election onwards are –
7 May Polling Day
11-13 May Parliamentary induction for first time MPs
18 May Parliament returns. Speaker is elected, but no other business
will take place.
19-21 May Formal swearing in of MPs
27 May Queen’s speech and state opening of Parliament
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