Theresa May makes off with yet another policy from Ed Miliband

Written by David Singleton on 5 March 2018 in Diary

Perhaps the prime minister should start paying royalties to the former Labour leader.

Theresa May has declared that young people without family wealth are "right to be angry" at not being able to buy a home.

In her speech to the National Planning Conference, the prime minister announced reforms to the planning laws – and she targeted developers who hoard land once it has been approved for development.

"I want to see planning permissions going to people who are actually going to build houses, not just sit on land and watch its value rise," she said.

The prime minister did not spell out where she got that idea from but the speech came four and a half years after Ed Milband issued a stark warning to developers holding on to land with planning permission.

"Across our country there are firms sitting on land waiting for it to accumulate in value and not building on it," said the then Labour leader in June 2013.

"Landowners with planning permission will simply not build.If there is unnecessary hoarding developers should be encouraged to do what they are in business to do – build homes."

After the Tories tweeted about May’s new plan to ensure that sure developers don't sit on land, Miliband responded sarcastically: “Why didn’t I think of that?”

But it is not the first – or even the second - time that May’s government has nicked a policy from Miliband.

In the run-up to the 2017 general election, May followed in Miliband’s footsteps by announcing that an energy price cap would form part of the Conservatives' manifesto.

And in the 2017 Budget a few months later, Philip Hammond announced that stamp duty will be abolished for first time buyers on homes worth up to £300,000 – two years after Miliband unveiled an almost identical policy.



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