The Government will make up to £200m available to purchase unsold new homes, either to rent to social tenants or to make them available to first time buyers on shared ownership terms. For the first time all first time buyers will be eligible for shared ownership schemes (subject only to an income limit) and a new shared equity scheme will be introduced for newly built properties, helping thousands of people (including nurses and health workers) to buy their first home;
Leaving aside the £200 million (pretty much neither here nor there given the size of the housing market and the size of government spending. At average house prices today this is 1000 houses a year. Yes, really, 1,000 houses at £200,000 each) the really important thing here is that he is opening the shared ownership scheme designed for "key workers" to any low paid worker.
Reflecting the Government’s commitment to promote saving and financial inclusion amongst those on lower incomes, the Saving Gateway bill would establish a new national savings scheme for around 8 million people on low incomes. The scheme provides a financial incentive to save through “matching” (a Government contribution) for every pound saved into the accounts. There will also be financial inclusion benefits through bringing individuals into contact with financial institutions for the first time;
From memory this was first mooted by a Telegraph financial journalist some 5 or 6 years back. He called it the BOGOF savings scheme. Ah, yes, here it is. Neil Collins. No doubt a grateful Prime Minister will be offering a KBE or some such useful bauble for the invention of a plan such as this, one so good that it is to be legislated for.
The Government plans to bring forward a business rates supplement bill that would give upper tier local authorities the ability to levy a local supplement of up to 2 pence per pound of rateable value on the business rate for economic development – following consultation, and in some cases a ballot of businesses that would be affected;
Umm, why can taxes only go up to fund economic development? Haven\’t we watched across St George\’s Channel to see that lower taxation on its own will do the same job only better?
The independent Committee on Climate Change to be established by the Bill will give its advice on the level of the 2050 target and on the first three, five-year carbon budgets. The Government will then announce the first three carbon budgets alongside Budget 2009, and lay its policies and proposals for meeting them before Parliament as soon as is reasonably practicable after they have been set;
Translation: 5 year plans are no good to use any more. We\’ve decided to plan what the size of the economy and the technological mix of it will be 15 years in advance. No doubt tractor production will rise.
There will be a public consultation in the summer of this year on the options for increasing the use of renewable energy in the UK, in the context of the EU target for 20% of the EU’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2020;
Translation: No one around here has a clue about how to do this. Anyone out there got any bright ideas?
A Marine and coastal access bill, which has recently been published in draft, would take further steps to ensure the sustainable use of our coasts and seas enabling us to balance our demands on the marine environment with conservation. It would introduce a new planning system for the marine area, reduce burdens on business, and make it easier to protect the marine environment. The bill would also create, for the first time, a right of access to walk around the English coast, with benefits for recreation and tourism, particularly for small businesses;
"We\’ve decided to ignore the most basic rules about environmental economics, most especially the Tragedy of the Commons. So we\’re encouraging sustainable use by insisting upon open access to a limited and fragile resource, the coastline. That this will destroy exactly the thing valued, just as it did with Kinder Scout, doesn\’t matter for I\’ll be long gone by then. Long, long gone."
The NHS will be expected to maintain a high standard of cleanliness which will be monitored and performance managed at a local level.
Seriously? 60 years after the start of the NHS you\’re only just getting around to checking under the beds to see if the cleaner\’s been?
Jeebus. A small note to our American friends. If you lot ever do have universal health care, this is exactly what will happen to your Congress: they\’ll be debating the correct level of cleanliness of a hospital ward. True, they might be less dangerous to your own interests if they spend their time doing this rather than what they do currently, but it\’s no way to run a nation, is it?