Rachel Reeves to announce housebuilding targets

Rachel Reeves will promise to make kickstarting economic growth a “national mission”, in her first speech as chancellor. Speaking to business leaders at the Treasury later, Ms Reeves will set out Labour’s plan for the economy and say the era of “chaos and irresponsibility is over”. She is also expected to announce she will bring back compulsory housebuilding targets, as part of an overhaul of Britain’s planning rules.

And she will say that with political turmoil in the France and the US, Britain is now back as one of the most stable places for international investment. Former Bank of England economist Ms Reeves was appointed chancellor on Friday, after Labour’s landslide election win.

She and her team worked through the weekend on this speech to business leaders and investors who have stalled investment in Britain in recent years amid the political chaos of the post-Brexit years and the Liz Truss mini-budget. Ms Reeves is expected to announce some immediate loosening of planning red tape that has held back construction, infrastructure, and the energy grid.

It will be done in the hope that investors will unleash tens of billions of pounds of investment in green industry and housebuilding. Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Darren Jones, told the BBC’s Today programme that planning was the focus of Ms Reeves’ first speech as chancellor because it would boost growth which was “the sustainable way to get public finances back in order for the long run”.

He said that she would offer “immediate measures” to stimulate growth, alongside longer-term plans to to “speed up the delivery of important infrastructure” such as energy, rail or housebuilding. However, he said communities would “still be able to be a part of the planning process in the normal way”. What we are seeking to do is tackle inertia in the system, to speed up the decision making, and then to be able to drive growth through unlocking the investment that we are told is available.

The Labour manifesto had already promised development on so-called “grey belt” land, which are poor-quality areas in the green belt. A moratorium on onshore wind power is expected to be lifted, and there will be extra funds for hundreds of new planning officers. Ms Reeves told the BBC on Friday that she was “willing to have a fight” with those who have delayed and rejected housebuilding and infrastructure investment in the planning system.

On Monday morning, she will tell business leaders: “Last week, the British people voted for change. And over the past 72 hours I have begun the work necessary to deliver on that mandate. Our manifesto was clear: ‘Sustained economic growth is the only route to improving the prosperity of our country and the living standards of working people. Where previous governments have been unwilling to take the difficult decisions – I will deliver. It is now a national mission. There is no time to waste

Source: BBC

In other news – Sir Keir Starmer names first cabinet after landslide win

Sir Keir Starmer‘s new cabinet will meet for the first time on Saturday – the first full day of Labour being in power.

Sir Keir Starmer

Rachel Reeves is the UK’s first female chancellor, while Deputy Prime Minister Angela Rayner is also among a record 11 women in the team of 25. Sir Keir appointed his cabinet on Friday after Labour’s landslide election win, and in his first speech as PM said the work of change “begins immediately”. Read more

Back to top button