X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

Coffee House

Budget 2013: New ‘Help to Buy’ plan is a boost for Eric Pickles

20 March 2013

4:10 PM

20 March 2013

4:10 PM

One of the big measures in today’s Budget was the Help to Buy scheme. It answers two demands: the first for the Tories to continue to support home ownership as what George Osborne called ‘the most human of aspirations’, and the second for the government to do everything it can to get construction moving again.

But there’s an interesting political point here. In the summer, George Osborne frightened the living daylights out of Eric Pickles and his team at the Communities and Local Government department by putting it about that he wanted further relaxations on planning regulations to encourage economic growth through construction. Pickles & Co fought back pretty hard, arguing that the problem was no longer the planning system as the Localism Act and National Planning Policy Framework had dealt with that, but the availability of credit. But then Nick Boles, who the Pickles camp widely regarded as one of ‘Osborne’s spies’, was installed in the department, and started talking about his plans to change the system still more.

[Alt-Text]


The Treasury says Help to Buy will benefit around 190,000 households a year with an equity loan worth up to 20 per cent of the value of a newbuild property and a guarantee for lenders on mortgages of up to 95 per cent. George Osborne called it a ‘dramatic intervention to get our housing market moving’. And it’s also a boost for Pickles as it focuses on credit. But the Budget document itself reminds us that there is still more to come on planning rules too: on point 1.115, it says the Government will ‘publish significantly reduced planning guidance by this summer, in line with Lord Matthew Taylor’s recommendations, providing much-needed simplicity and clarity’.

P.S. I asked Nick Boles about the tension between credit and planning rules in an interview that I did for another publication recently. His answer was interesting, but perhaps not entirely reassuring for those who hope that everything will be running smoothly on the construction front by 2015:

‘We need to be clear about something: the planning system has not delivered for about 30 or 40 years. Our reform is crucial and I am confident that, with simplicity, clarity and incentives, it will work. The difficulty in the short term is that we can’t tell whether it’s working until market and credit conditions become more normal.’

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close