Chancellor Gordon Brown has been criticised by industry bodies for failing to use his budget to push the development proposals of economist Kate Barker.
The Barker report, which was prepared for last year’s budget, did not feature in this year’s speech. This caused surprise among industry observers, who regarded action on a “planning gain supplement” as vital, to fund the infrastructure needed for housing growth.
Its only mention in the main Budget speech was a passing comment that the government would be consulting on the recommendations and would report on them towards the end of the year.
The Construction Products Association said that it was disappointed more progress had not been made to move the Barker agenda on.
Michael Ankers, its chief executive said: “The government is trying to change the amount of housing but there is still the problem of the availability of land to build on. Nothing significant has been done to move forward over the past 12 months.”
Brown also announced that the threshold for stamp duty would be increased from £60,000 to £120,000, £20,000 more than expected.
He added that the change meant that schemes such as a Redrow estate in Rugby, Warwickshire, would be stamp duty free.
Pedley said: “The maximum price on the Rugby scheme is £119,995 so it’s great news.”
Another leading housebuilder added that the move was “unlikely to affect” the London market.
The industry was also left empty-handed on the campaign to scrap VAT on the renovation of houses, but there were VAT reductions on low carbon energy and solid wall insulation.
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