Coalition home bonus scheme is a con

The government's 'New Homes Bonus' scheme, which will match the council tax raised on each new house for six years, was slammed by shadow housing minister John Healey for being an expensive con, with the money coming mostly from existing local authority support grants - as revealed in a pre-election Tory green paper.

The government’s ‘New Homes Bonus’ scheme, which will match the council tax raised on each new house for six years, was today slammed by shadow housing minister John Healey for being an expensive con, with the money coming mostly from existing local authority support grants – as revealed in a pre-election Tory green paper.

The ‘Control Shift: Returning power to local communities’ February 2009 policy paper says that to achieve this they will:

“…add a further £250m to the Matching Fund in each of the succeeding four years (to take the total to £1,250m million per year in 2014-15), by taking £250m per year off what would otherwise be the overall increase in formula grant to councils in each of those years.

Adding the footnote:

“If, and to the extent that, the Matching Fund is successful in encouraging the building of more homes, the top-slicing of the formula grant will be gradually increased to preserve the matching principle.”

ie. There is no new money for this, and any incentive money given to councils will come from other councils. The policy also appears in the Tories’ subsequent ‘Strong foundations: Building homes and communities’ and ‘Open source planning’ policy green papers of April 2009 and February 2010 respectively.

Today’s news is the latest calamity to befall the coalition’s housing policy, following Simon Hughes’s attack on David Cameron over social housing last Wednesday – suggesting the prime minister wasn’t speaking for the government but merely for himself – and the slaying of the housing ‘black hole’ myth put about by Tory ministers who falsely claimed the previous government had pledged money for housing that was not banked.

John Healey today said:

“Not content with misleading the public about a ‘black hole’ in funding for housing, the LibCon Government is now set on conning councils with a home builders ‘bonus’. The cost will run into billions, met mainly – as Tory proposals indicated before the election – by existing grants to local councils.

“Given the potential impact on essential local services, we could quite literally see government robbing Peterborough to pay Poole.”

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20 Responses to “Coalition home bonus scheme is a con”

  1. HouseOfTwitsLab

    RT @leftfootfwd Coalition home bonus scheme is a con: http://bit.ly/9bsHMK #ConDemNation

  2. House Of Twits

    RT @leftfootfwd Coalition home bonus scheme is a con: http://bit.ly/9bsHMK #ConDemNation

  3. SSP Campsie

    RT @leftfootfwd: Coalition home bonus scheme is a con: http://bit.ly/9bsHMK #ConDemNation

  4. Josh Eades

    RT @HouseOfTwitsLab: RT @leftfootfwd Coalition home bonus scheme is a con: http://bit.ly/9bsHMK #ConDemNation

  5. Iain

    Hang on – the Government’s made crystal clear that this isn’t new money; just changing the way existing money’s paid to provide more of an incentive to build new homes. Where’s the con?

  6. Trakgalvis

    Coalition home bonus scheme is a con: http://bit.ly/9bsHMK #ConDemNation via @leftfootfwd

  7. Charlotte MacKenzie

    RT @leftfootfwd: Coalition home bonus scheme is a con: http://bit.ly/9bsHMK #ConDemNation

  8. Shamik Das

    Putting the CON into #ConDemNation —> Coalition home bonus scheme is a con: http://bit.ly/9bsHMK – My latest @leftfootfwd piece

  9. Charlotte MacKenzie

    RT @leftfootfwd: Coalition home bonus scheme is a con: http://bit.ly/9bsHMK #ConDemNation

  10. Martin Johnston

    RT @leftfootfwd: Coalition home bonus scheme is a con: http://bit.ly/9bsHMK #ConDemNation

  11. Evidence based? Really?

    I think you need to address Iain’s point. Or you could actually read what the announcement say, that would probably clear this up as well.

  12. Mr Jabberwock

    Of course there is no new money, some feckless government spent it all.

    I imagine the intention of this is to use what money is left to incentivise one sort of behaviour and disinsentivise another sort of behaviour. What a con that is.

  13. Anon E Mouse

    Shamik – Last year the Labour government spent less on housing than at any time since 1923 and the lowest amount in peacetime history.

    Where’s the con in trying to help the poor – anything is better than that last lot…

  14. Anon E Mouse

    Hang on a minute isn’t the guy sniping from the sidelines the useless John Healey, the last Minister for Housing?

    The same minister that presided over the worst home building by a government practically ever – that guy’s got some F*&”ing cheek with his comments – pots and kettles anyone?

    Didn’t he say that “repossession may be the best course for some people” – that may be right but someone in Labour needs to gag this buffoon ASAP.

    If this is the best “opposition” the Labour Party can offer they need to get used to being out of government for a long time…

  15. Mr. Sensible

    The coalition’s planning proposals overall seem to be all over the place.

  16. Chris

    @Mouse

    Your trolling becomes more rabid by the minute and growing increasingly boring. Although I did laugh at your attack on Joss Garman for “drooling” over the previous government, especially when he pointed out he’d never voted for them and had been a critic of them for many years. That attack shows perfectly the pattern your post take; incoherent moaning about Labour not doing something followed by an attempt to smear someone.

  17. Anon E Mouse

    Chris – Which bit of the post is incorrect?

    And before you respond Chris please remember what you’ve been told to tell yourself before you go near your keyboard.

    “Before I post on an internet forum I must remember Labour lost the election. Labour lost the election. Labour lost the election.Labour lost the election.”

  18. Chris

    @Mouse

    Yawn, should you not tell yourself the very same thing as we established on the previous thread that your straw poll of the other patients did *not* accurately represent the majority opinion of the British public.

  19. James Stevens

    The analysis provided by Left Foot Forward is quite disappointing and predictable. Of course, trying to bribe councils to build the number of new houses we need in the places where people want to live (i.e. the South East)will never entirely work mainly because the political elite (left, right, middle of the road, and green) remain so deeply hostile to building. But at least the New Homes Bonus may compel shire councils traditionally opposed to new housing to grant permissions in exchange for some Bonus to make good their cut in formula grant. It would also reward the building of bigger homes in suburban and rural locations, and get us away from the urban renaissance pipe-dream of the last decade which wanted to confine the people to high-rise in urban areas. In that sense it’s really quite radical.

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