Wednesday, 01 October 2014

Vince Cable called on PM to invest in housing

Business secretary Vince Cable sent a private letter to the prime minister calling for increased support for housing, it has emerged.

In the leaked letter published by the BBC yesterday Vince Cable argues that ‘galvanising the housing construction market would have a much wider economic impact in stimulating innovation and growth’.

He adds: ‘There is a particular problem with financing: the housing associations, which could drive recovery, are unable to mobilise funds on any scale.’

Mr Cable says the government should show the same commitment to ‘getting housing moving as is beginning to happen for infrastructure’.

Infrastructure is a key part of the government’s plans for driving economic growth, with £500 million set aside for stalled schemes through the growing places fund.

Mr Cable’s letter was sent in February to prime minister David Cameron and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg. It sets out the business secretary’s views on ‘industry policy’, and argues the government is currently lacking ‘a compelling vision of where the country is heading beyond sorting out the fiscal mess’.

Mr Cable’s comments on housing were welcomed by the National Housing Federation.

Chief executive David Orr said: ‘A public investment of £1 billion - matched by £10 billion from housing associations - would build 66,000 new homes and create around 100,000 jobs in the construction industry, plus many more in the wider supply chain.

‘It would also save the government nearly £400 million in benefit payments and boost national economic activity by £15 billion. Few other sectors can offer this potential with such short lead-in times and the prospect of so much of the benefit being retained domestically.’

Readers' comments (7)

  • Rick Campbell

    Some IH posters have been calling for this for months.

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  • Chris

    Years even!

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  • Yes, I agree !, but they have to see if there is anything else they can PRIVATISE first, for their wealthy shareholder backers !

    All the Tories are interested in is ASSET stripping this country !!

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  • Gavin Rider

    Using housing construction as a means of providing jobs is pointless - as soon as the houses are built the jobs are gone, unless you maintain the rate of house-building.

    That means to sustain the employment that has been created by stimulating housing construction we would need to perpetuate the demand for new housing, which sort of defeats the purpose, don't you think?

    The policy will ultimately result in England having a housing problem of the kind they have in Ireland.

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  • I have a great deal of respect for Vince Cable as he predicted the economic crash. However, he has got it wrong on this one.

    He should instead be looking are creating to new industries which can compete on the world stage.

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  • CL-the only people who couldn't predict the crash were the greedy gits on the gravy train- how could house prices spiral upwards forever with ordinary working peoples incomes pegged at RPI of less

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  • Omegas 3- easy just lend people ever more money. Ease credit conditions, cut rates, , allow 10 x income mortgages. Property only ever goes up in value , dontcha know?

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