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Electioneering; an act of persuasion.

Electioneering; an act of persuasion.

(Image: SEE Monster)


On our right, the Tories (do Reform have a housing plan or is it a by-product of pulling up the draw bridges? We know climate change is well, weather). Anyway, the pledges are:

• To deliver 1.6 million homes and people a better chance of living where they would like (Elysium).
• Deliver gentle densification of urban areas with treelined streets and homes built in the local character (ooh err, the ghost of Gove).
• Renewing the Affordable Homes Programme that will focus on regenerating and improving housing estates (okay).
• Protecting the Green Belt from uncontrolled development, while ensuring more homes get built where it makes sense and abolish ‘nutrient neutrality’ rules (in favour of the good ole one-off cash fee).
• Relax Stamp Duty, improve Help to Buy, and back loans that will be part funded by house builders (do they know one wonders?).
• Landlord, renters and leasehold reform and no increase in Council tax (about time).
• Require councils to set land aside for small builders, support self-build, simplify planning and encourage different forms of housing (the ghost of Bacon?).
• Remain committed to delivering net zero by 2050 (its law after all).
• Legislate to ensure annual licensing rounds for oil and gas production from our own North Sea (hmm, jury’s out on that one).
• Treble our offshore wind capacity and build the first two carbon capture and storage clusters (but not onshore and not sure the tech is there just yet).
• Scale up nuclear power approve two new fleets of Small Modular Reactors (at bloody last – how many is that? The Times suggests earliest delivery is 2035).
• Invest £1.1 billion into the Green Industries Growth Accelerator (one assumes in response to Labour’s plans?).
• Fund an energy efficiency voucher scheme (£6 billion), open to every household in England, to support the installation of energy efficiency measures and solar panels (been here before).

On our left, The Whigs (the more protestant centre ground). Their pledges are:

• To deliver 1.5 million new homes (sure I’ve seen this somewhere before).
• Update the NPPF and employ more planners (same again but stronger wording).
• Development of previously used land and urban regeneration but release of the green belt for development where sensible (heralding the nimby riots).
• Changes to the Affordable Homes Programme but with a proviso against profligacy (okay).
• Deliver the biggest increase in social and affordable housebuilding with right to buy controls (interesting - see footnote).
• Build more exemplar and sustainable homes and create places that increase climate resilience (wonder how this will chime with a nostalgic public?).
• Support first-time buyers with loans and the like (ditto the Tories).
• Switch on (nationalised) Great British Energy (an exciting flagship policy still in dry dock).
• Labour will invest an extra £6.6 billion over the next parliament, doubling the existing planned government investment, to upgrade five million homes (it ain’t easy).
• The Warm Homes Plan (investing £6.6 billion) offer grants and low interest loans to support (popular figure).
• Private rental sector to meet minimum energy efficiency standards by 2030 (best not rely on EPC’s).
• Mandate British financial institutions to implement credible transition plans that align with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement (missed that one then).

So, a lot of similarities in housing. The net zero debate is more clearly defined in that the left still leans that way whilst the right continues pivoting well to the right. The housing crises has its origins in the electioneering of the past; ‘right to buy’. Being kind, this may have had laudable aims (aside from boosting support for Maggie) but the unintended consequences always catch up with you.

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