Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (October 2007): Social housing - UK

The best laid plans…

T. Williams

Public Finance, Sept. 14th-20th, 2007, p. 22-23

There is growing opposition to the Planning Gain Supplement (PGS), a form of development tax proposed in the 2004 Barker Review of housing supply. It was intended to replace the current planning gain powers in section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, which allow local authorities to require contributions - in cash or in kind - from developers before granting planning permission. The 2007 housing green paper came up with four alternatives to PGS: a lower-rate version, with some planning obligations retained; a version limited to greenfield sites; a charging mechanism based on an expanded system of planning obligations; and a statutory planning charge.

Buy freedom

K. Cahill

Roof, Sept./Oct 2007, p. 23-25

The author argues that in modern Britain people's well being depends on their capacity to obtain, own and keep a home. However the Conservative governments of the 1980s and early 1990s undermined trends towards increasing home ownership, through abolition of mortgage tax relief, refusal to assist unemployed people who could not pay their mortgages out of public funds, and slowing down house building. The present Brown government seems set to improve the situation through an ambitious programme of new house building.

Stockholm syndrome

S. Hill

Roof, Sept./Oct. 2007, p. 20-22

The author argues that owner occupiers and buy to let landlords should be taxed on the increases in the value of their properties. These revenues should be used to maintain the infrastructure and improve the area. Such an approach, which should limit house price rises and discourage speculation, has been successfully applied in Sweden. It is a viable alternative to the present approach which loads all the costs of infrastructure provision on the developer, and so puts up the cost of housing.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web