The National Audit Office (NAO) has confirmed the Conservative Party’s utter failure to fulfil a key 2015 election pledge. And for Labour’s Angela Rayner, this proves just how “inept and useless” the Tories are.
The government spending watchdog revealed that the Conservatives have so far built none of the 200,000 homes that their 2015 manifesto promised to build in England. The target audience for this high-profile ‘starter home’ pledge was first-time buyers under the age of 40.
Rayner responded to this damning revelation by tweeting:
The Tories have delivered zero of the 200,000 starter homes they promised in 2015. They really are inept and useless, you cannot believe a word they say, same old Tories! #GeneralElection2019 #VoteLabour2019 https://t.co/l7tS6ToVxo
— Angela Rayner 🌈 (@AngelaRayner) November 5, 2019
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The NAO also confirmed that the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government doesn’t even have a budget for starter homes any more.
Today we report that no Starter Homes have been built to date, despite the government announcing in 2015 that it intended to create 200,000 Starter Homes: https://t.co/jq1WMXjCaj pic.twitter.com/clmviwgeaV
— National Audit Office (@NAOorguk) November 5, 2019
Zero success. Zero trust.
The chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, Meg Hillier, responded to the news by saying:
Since 2010 many housing programmes announced with much fanfare have fallen away, with money then recycled into the next announcement.
Labour’s John Healey, meanwhile, asserted:
The Conservatives’ flagship housing announcement for first-time buyers has been a total failure. It’s clear you can’t trust the Tories to do what they promise.
And Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn stressed:
Yet another Tory failure which means so many people across our country do not have a home to call their own.
It's time for real change.https://t.co/WRhsfcyYGT
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) November 5, 2019
The Tory housing crisis has no Tory solution
Conservative housing policy has been a massive failure. And as Labour’s Barry Gardiner pointed out recently, young people are facing the brunt of the resulting crisis:
. @BarryGardiner gets the utter anger of being in £50k debt, moving every year and being unable to even save for a deposit.
Westminster journos don’t know it but that is the norm for young people. It can’t carry on. pic.twitter.com/PxRPBKfNzE
— Aaron Bastani (@AaronBastani) November 5, 2019
Indeed, nine years of failed ideological austerity under Conservative-led governments have resulted in a growing housing crisis and increasingly worrying homelessness statistics. The number of rough sleepers, for example, has risen 165% since 2010; and in 2018, roughly two homeless people reportedly died every day. The disastrous decline of social housing, meanwhile, means taxpayers are giving private landlords money via housing benefits and getting nothing in return.
At the same time, the wealthiest people in Britain continue to make massive profits from property ownership. And rich politicians like Conservative leader Boris Johnson have profited from selling off housing that taxpayer money helped to fund. Johnson’s hard-right government of proud Thatcherites, meanwhile, wants even further cuts to public services and the welfare state.
Explaining this dire situation, journalist Owen Jones is calling for change:
Build top quality council housing. Control rents. Power homes with renewable energy. End the housing crisis! pic.twitter.com/GGfhae00n7
— Owen REGISTER TO VOTE Jones🌹 (@OwenJones84) November 5, 2019
A recent report showed anger among low-income voters over the insecurity of the private rental sector and a desire for “more council and housing association homes for rent”. It also showed that Brexit isn’t the priority issue for most of them.
The Brexit-obsessed Conservatives have failed miserably to deal with the housing crisis. But Corbyn’s Labour is listening. And it’s pledged to build “at least 100,000 council and housing association homes a year for genuinely affordable rent or sale” by the end of its first term. It’s also promised to create a “Department for Housing to focus on tackling the crisis and to ensure housing is about homes for the many, not investment opportunities for the few”.
The Tories had their chance, but they failed to deliver. It’s now time for real change – and there’s only one party that can deliver it.
Featured image via Rwendland, with additional content via Press Association
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