Post-Brexit Signs of Sanity
The post-Brexit blues may be somewhat less deep in the coming few weeks IF our national politicians ramp up the necessary leadership which has been sadly lacking since the decision to leave was made.
I can accept a democratic decision, but I can’t accept the temerity of politicians of all shades to simply have an unseemly fight amongst themselves, with none having a post-Brexit Plan.
The immediate news of Theresa May as the next PM has been met with broad approval mainly as it provides some certainty on this front. Time will tell though as to what will specifically happen in her first 100 days at the helm.
Critically, leaving the EU is just one of many, many issues that needs to be addressed before our economy can be strengthened. The UK economy is not as strong as some people believe and the first Monetary Policy Committee meeting since the referendum, scheduled to take place on Thursday, will be vital.
Let’s face it, the efforts to unpick 40 years’ worth of legislation and regulations will simply carry on for years to come and no doubt will cost billions to resolve. The government MUST get to grips with the here and now on the economy and spell out a clear plan of action to reassure all who seek to deliver future economic growth.
In my view the following are critical to our economy and property in particular:
- Stable and clear leadership; including Osborne remaining as Chancellor (whether you like him or not, he has set a clear course with Greg Clark over city region devolution).
- Rapid increase in City Region devolution powers to genuinely strengthen the UK economy as a whole. This is even more important and differential tax raising must be an option to now pursue.
- Commitment to specific regional infrastructure delivery at pace, not in 10 years’ time.
- Early indication of commitment to nationally significant projects such as HS2, along with clarity on the national economic plan, funding sources and priorities.
- Cutting Corporation Tax as soon as possible.
- Widening the Help to Buy Scheme, but still be strict on lending criteria to ensure we don’t let the market run away with itself again.
- Freeing up the Planning System even more by improving the NPPF. Specifically we need greater clarity over when the Green Belt should be properly considered for release for certain types of development that are needed for the country’s success; particularly economically significant development.
- Release Green Belt for housing schemes where the actual land in question simply does not meet Green Belt criteria and the relevant Council does not have a 5 year land supply.
- Increase the balance of affordable housing for such sites released through the above measure.
- Speed up Plan-making by simplifying the process. Cutting the many stages of the Plan process would help; and enforcing the requirement for a Plan to be submitted to the Secretary of State for Examination with ALL evidence submitted at the same time.
- Enforce the proposal by the government to deny the New Homes Bonus to Local Planning Authorities that reject housing schemes and then lose at an Appeal; BUT offer a better settlement to them if they support more planning consents, thus helping them resource woefully under-funded planning departments.
We need to grasp the above, and no doubt many more ideas from people far cleverer than me, as soon as possible to try and compensate for the negative impacts of Brexit.
Do you have your own ideas about what the government should be doing to help the property industry post-Brexit? Get in touch to let us know.
Images sourced from:
- UK by Moyan Brenn via flickr
- Number 10 door by Number 10 via flickr