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Government to deliver housing white paper proposals; leasehold reform and streamline the home buying process

Week in Westminster

Published: 23 June 2017 | Author: Michelle Vosper

Following the snap General Election on 8 June 2017, the Queen's speech marking the start of the parliamentary session took place on 21 June. The speech sets out the government's legislative agenda for the next two parliamentary sessions - next year's Queen's speech is being ditched by the government to ease the way in parliament for new Brexit laws.

On housing the government will deliver the reforms proposed in the Housing White Paper; consult and take action to "promote transparency and fairness" for leaseholders; and look at ways to streamline the home buying process.

Key bills announced include:

Financial Guidance and Claims Bill
Draft Tenants' Fees Bill
Data Protection Bill

The first debate on the Queen’s speech to take place in the Commons was on housing and social security. The debate was introduced by communities secretary Sajid Javid who reiterated the government’s housing plans outlined in its Housing White Paper. Answering questions from MPs, Mr Javid acknowledged the importance of continuing work on leasehold reform, and self-build and factory-built housing as a means of diversifying the home building market. David Gauke, the newly appointed work and pensions secretary concluded this debate.

No 10’s head of Policy John Godfrey left this week. This brings the total up to nine advisers having left Downing Street since the election.

Some MPs have already declared their interest to seek election as chair to some select committees.  Jacob Rees-Mogg, Stephen Hammond and John Penrose have put their names forward to succeed Andrew Tyrie as Treasury Committee chair.

Both the Lib Dems and the SNP announced appointments to their respective party spokespeople.  For the Lib Dems Vince Cable has been appointed shadow chancellor (he has also confirmed his candidacy to replace Tim Farron as the new party leader); Wera Hobhouse is the communities and local government spokesperson; the work and pensions brief goes to Stephen Lloyd; and business and industrial strategy is Lord Chris Fox. Jo Swinson is the new Lib Dem deputy leader.

For the SNPs, Kirsty Blackman will lead on the economy, Neil Gray on social justice; Patricia Gibson on consumer affairs; and Alison Thewliss on the Treasury and cities.

The rising inequality between generations in respect of housing wealth was highlighted this by the Resolution Foundation. Their report looks at how successive generations have accumulated wealth over the course of their lives in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.