Rachel Reeves MP, Labour's Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, responding to government announcements on planning and house building today, said:
“With our economy in a double-dip recession and a serious housing crisis, the Government are kidding themselves if they think these announcements are up to the scale of the challenge.
“We need to get Britain building again, but the Government has slashed the housing budget and the number of affordable homes being built is down by 68 per cent. And they have failed to deliver many of the infrastructure projects they announced last year.
“The fundamental problem is not the planning system or Section 106 agreements for much needed affordable housing, it is the lack of confidence and demand in the economy, slashed public investment and the Government’s failing economic plan.
“If Ministers really want to help homeowners and small firms, why don’t they listen to our idea to cut VAT to five per cent on home improvements, repairs and maintenance? And why do they refuse to repeat the bank bonus tax to fund the building of 25,000 affordable homes and 100,000 jobs for young people?