MPs question DCLG ministers on right to buy extension
Week in Westminster
Published: 3 July 2015 | Author: Michelle Vosper
DCLG ministers took oral questions this week. Once again the subject that dominated the housing-related questions was the government’s proposal to extend right to buy to housing association tenants. In particular, the MPs raised concerns about the replacement of those properties that are sold through the scheme; the impact on the financial viability of housing associations, and the cost to the public purse. Responding to these questions the ministers confirmed that an impact assessment would be published at the same time as the Housing Bill, which would be introduced “very shortly”.
Answering a written question from Rachael Maskell MP on the flood reinsurance scheme, DEFRA minister Rory Stewart confirmed that Flood Re is on schedule and will begin its operational testing phase this month. The Flood Re team, rather than the Environment secretary, will determine when the scheme is ready to accept policies and it will require authorisation by the PRA and FCA. The team expect this to be in April 2016. Mr Steward said that insurers have agreed to continue to abide by the ABI’s statement of principles until Flood Re is fully operational.
Meanwhile, the draft Flood Re regulations laid in March this year have been withdrawn and replaced by new draft regulations:
- Draft Flood Reinsurance (Scheme and Scheme Administrator Designation) Regulations 2015
- Draft Flood Reinsurance (Scheme Funding and Administration) Regulations 2015
The government has launched an independent review of self-employment in the UK. BIS has tasked the founder of The Cambridge Satchel Company Julie Deane to consider the challenges and opportunities for those who want to want for themselves. Within the review’s remit will be to look what can be done to provide more security and peace of mind for those who want to work for themselves. For example, when juggling self-employment and having a family, buying a home or saving for retirement. The review is expected to be published in early 2016.
The DCLG has published its annual report and accounts for 2014-15 which gives an overview of all the government’s housing schemes and initiatives across all tenures.
And this week we distributed the latest issue of our parliamentary newsletter, Housing finance at a Glance, which is sent to all MPs, and select peers with an interest in housing issues. The issue covered:
- recent mortgage market activity, providing links to our latest market trends data for the UK, as well as for the markets in London, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland;
- the challenges for older borrowers and highlights an industry initiative to look at the issue of borrowing into retirement;
- our recent analysis on housing wealth; and
- the forthcoming Housing Bill