Javid hints at government borrowing to boost housing delivery

Reports that the communities secretary has said that government should 'borrow to invest in thousands of new homes and related infrastructure' feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Financial Times (subscription) reports that Sajid Javid said on Sunday that a distinction should be drawn between "vitally important" government efforts to cut the deficit and "investing for the future" in infrastructure. "So for example," he added, "you borrow more to invest in the infrastructure that leads to more housing — take advantage of some of the record low interest rates that we have. I think we should absolutely be considering that."

Writing in the Guardian, Tory activist Tim Montgomery says that if chancellor Philip Hammond "doesn’t embrace the Javid prescription in his Budget, there will be no time for the fruits of investments to be appreciated by voters by the time of the next election". Montgomery write that if Hammond "won’t borrow to build for the future and to lubricate reforms such as universal credit", Prime Minister Theresa May "needs to find a chancellor who will".

Guardian columnist John Harris says that technological advance is putting the "utopian dream" of dwindling car ownership "within reach". He writes: "With the requisite political will, dwindling numbers of cars will bring opportunities to radically redesign urban areas. The environmental benefits will be self-evident. And as cities become more and more car-free, towns will cry out for their own changes."

The Guardian reports that roads minister Jesse Norman has said that the government could "potentially consider providing subsidies for electric bicycles and electric cars as part of a concerted policy effort to get more people cycling". The paper says that "with the UK facing health crises from pollution and inactive living, other plans could include using electric cargo bikes to deliver packages from internet retailers rather than vans".


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