Archive for October 2010
29 October 2010
As cutbacks force more families into private rentals the market must adapt, writes Louisa Darian in Inside Housing.
The government’s announcements to cut the social housing budget to £4.4 billion will hit many low earning households. Coupled with already low rates of affordable house building under the previous government, these proposals will mean that more and more low earning families will be forced into unsuitable private rented sector accommodation. Those fortunate enough to be offered a social home will be faced with a much worse deal - shorter tenancies and higher rents.
The coalition is hoping that this new type of tenancy will attract more institutional investment into the social sector - fixed-term contracts will allow for properties to be ‘churned’, enabling an investor to get a return from the sales. At the same time, longer term tenancies than those commonly offered in the PRS will limit potential voids. Housing associations and councils will need to be open and flexible to new funding models.
21 October 2010
To protect those at the very bottom, those in work, but on low and modest incomes, are being asked to make sacrifices, writes James Plunkett in The Guardian.
Thanks to Danny Alexander's spotless car windows, we have already had a sneak-peak of two pages of today's spending review. It's hardly news: 490,000 public sector jobs will go. But the pages also reveal coalition plans to encourage public sector employers to strike deals for shorter hours, in an attempt to keep redundancies down. It's a theme that's coming to characterise the coalition's policies, and it shouldn't go unnoticed.
To protect those at the very bottom, those in work, but on low and modest incomes, are being asked to make sacrifices. It runs surprisingly counter to the coalition's claims to be on the side of the "doers and the grafters", but it also goes to the heart of their fairness message: the poorest should not shoulder the burden, and we must make sure the path into work is one that pays.
16 October 2010
Writing in The Guardian Gavin Kelly and Nick Pearce argue that Alan Johnson will have to make tough and unpopular decisions if Labour is to assert itself as a credible opposition.
The announcement next week of the coalition's spending review will rank as one of the most important political events of this parliament. It will set the spending totals for government departments and social security expenditure for the rest of the coalition's mandate, framing the terms of British politics and public life for years to come. How Labour responds to the spending review will be a critical test – not just of its political acumen, but of its economic credibility, seriousness of purpose and straight-dealing with the electorate.
The new shadow chancellor, Alan Johnson, has a strong reputation for calming troubled waters, but if he is to put Labour on the road to recovery he will need to make some very tough and unpopular decisions, and set out a credible plan for economic growth, tax rises and spending cuts. The easiest thing for the short term would be to let the coalition take all the heat for cuts and remain broadly vague, other than reasserting a loose commitment to Alistair Darling's plan on deficit reduction. But that would be a strategic mistake. Labour needs to show the electorate now that it is serious about both the deficit and restarting economic growth.
Alan Johnson benefits budget 2011 cameron chancellor Commission on Living Standards cost of living cuts David Cameron economy family food prices Gavin Kelly good life homeownership Housing income Independent inequality James Plunkett Labour Party Lib Dems living standards Middle Britain new statesman pension private rented prospect magazine social housing spending cuts Spending Review squeezed Squeezed Middle tax tax credits Treasury welfare