Labour land value plan 'would cut housing construction costs by a third'

A claim that Labour's plans for a new land value uplift capture mechanism would cut the cost building new housing by a third features in today's newspaper round-up.

Writing in The Guardian, Jonn Elledge, editor of the New Statesman’s cities website CityMetric, says that online comments by Liz Truss, the chief secretary to the Treasury, that the plans were "deeply sinister" are unsurprising. He writes: "It’s no surprise that Truss should have laid into this policy: frantic warnings that Labour will nationalise your grandmother given half a chance are one of the few moves this exhausted government has left. But in doing so, she’s defending the interests of a wealthy rentier class, while opposing the sort of radical action we need if we’re to make a dent in this country’s housing crisis. This is, to borrow a phrase, deeply sinister." Elledge adds that "enabling the state to acquire land at cheaper rates would cut the cost of building new housing by over a third".

The Times (subscription) reports that "Britain has been named among the ten most gridlocked countries in the world, with motorists spending 31 hours a year stuck in peak-time traffic". The paper says that a study of congestion by Inrix, a traffic data company, "found that traffic in the UK was growing worse compared with other countries, costing the average driver £1,168 per year in fuel and lost time".

The Financial Times (subscription) reports that the government "is under heavy pressure to increase funding to local councils after the imposition of emergency spending controls in Northamptonshire and a revolt from MPs in rural constituencies". The paper says that "ministers have been locked in talks with MPs to try to secure the votes they need on Wednesday to pass the local authority funding settlement for coming financial year."

Times columnist Rachel Sylvester says that Prime Minister Theresa May’s "lack of purpose and passion has led to stagnation in key policy areas", including housing. She writes: "While Downing Street dances on the head of a pin over Brexit, the problems that drove so many people to vote to leave the EU go ignored. Underlying the key reasons for voting Leave — immigration and taking back control — were fears about job security, the housing shortage, and pressures on schools and the NHS, which have not been resolved. The "left behind" communities that voted for Brexit because they feel abandoned by a political elite have seen no improvement to their lives."

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