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Umunna: Labour will give developers a “certain” policy environment to build

by LLP Editor
18th Sep 13 4:49 pm

The government needs to stop concentrating on loose monetary policy to stimulate construction and offer more stability, shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna said.

“The government created uncertainty in the planning system because they created a national planning policy framework,” Umunna told LondonlovesBusiness.com. “And then six or seven months later decided to change the whole planning system again.”

“If you want people to be able to build, you need to give them a certain policy environment so that they could make investments.”

The rebuttal comes after a hot day of debate at the Institute of Directors (IoD) which saw both chancellor George Osborne and London mayor Boris Johnson forced to defend their support for the controversial Help to Buy scheme. Both politicians said that the policy was instrumental in resolving UK’s housing shortfall and would shore up construction.

Umunna, however, has now joined the growing line of voices pouring scorn on the government scheme, saying that it could be paving the way for another housing bubble.

Business secretary Vince Cable has been another vocal opponent of Help to Buy, recently suggesting that it could be leading the UK back into bubble territory.

Despite his protestations, the government has decided to steamroll again, pushing Umunna to question Cable’s leadership saying his actions were not those of a “powerful” business secretary.

“One of the biggest differences between Vince and his predecessor Peter Mandelson is that Peter had clout across Whitehall,” Cable told the Huffington Post.

“If you are serious about implementing an industrial strategy as Vince claims, then it is not just a job for the business department it is a cross government activity. And his problem has been that others across the cabinet do not share his views and that makes it very difficult to implement a strategy like that,” he added. 

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