Labour Sets out Plans to Double the Number of First-Time Buyers
Wed 24 Sep 2014
Labour has unveiled plans to double the number of first-time buyers in the country by 2025 with major increases in house building.
Leader Ed Miliband told his party's annual conference in Manchester that he would make housing the 'top priority' for additional spending in the next parliament.
"Under this government we are building fewer homes than at any time since the 1920's," he said.
"By 2025, for the first time in 50 years, this country will be building as many homes as we need, doubling the number of first-time buyers in our country.
Miliband repeated his plans to force developers to use land banks and stimulate new building.
"It is going to require a massive national effort, we won't let large developers sit on land. We'll say to small developers and construction companies that we'll help them to build homes again in our country.
"We'll build a new generation of towns, garden cities and suburbs, creating over 500,000 new homes."
In an 80-minute speech Miliband also pledged to introduce 'much bigger reform of the banks' which would include 'breaking up the big banks' to increase competition.
He also announced plans to introduce a mansion tax on properties valued at more than 2million which would help increase funding for the NHS.
The proposal was met with objections from the industry with Peter Rollings, CEO of estate agents Marsh & Parsons, believing such a move would stifle the London market.
"Labour's mansion tax proposals would not only injure London's international reputation and prestige as a city open for business and investment, but would lumber the capital's homeowners with an even weightier tax burden and potentially stifle the market," he commented.
"Any policy initiatives should concentrate on nurturing the embryonic buds of growth outside of London, rather than drastically pruning back healthier branches of the market."