It’s a day for growth initiatives. In addition to those described earlier, George Osborne has announced that Whitehall’s annual underspend will be reinvested into capital
spending projects. The emphasis on infrastructure echoes Danny Alexander’s statements
during the Lib Dem conference, when the Treasury secretary disclosed that existing programmes would be brought forward and funded by recalibrating budgets. So there seems to be agreement between
the two parties about bolstering the coalition’s growth strategy in a certain way, which may explain why the Tories are so determined to resist pressure to introduce politically awkward tax cuts.
Grant Shapps has also been elaborating on the changes to the Right to Buy. He told the BBC:
“If you want an admission, I would say it was an incredible policy at giving people the right to own their own home, to some of the most hardworking people in the country, and gave them
that chance, but actually the money wasn’t recycled into building more affordable homes.”
Discounts that were reduced under the previous government will be increased to encourage greater take up of the scheme. Shapps envisages100,000 tenants will buy their homes. The proceeds will be reinvested in buying further housing stock, which will be
rented out at reduced rates. Or that’s the plan at any rate.