Author Archives: Graeme Cooke

Independent View: What now for housing policy?

As the coalition approaches the halfway point of the Parliament, Liberal Democrats are in search of policies that demonstrate their distinctive contribution to government – especially on the crucial issue of growth. Pre-conference briefing suggests that leading party figures see affordable house building as a leading option. They are right to do so. It would boost demand, create jobs, and meet a pressing social need. The Tories are focused on reforming the planning system, but evidence suggests this is a tough political sell. Efforts to finance house building through clever Treasury wheezes that try to circumvent borrowing constraints have …

Posted in News and The Independent View | Tagged and | 3 Comments

Independent View: Housing Benefit reform needs liberal principle of localism

The Prime Minister’s recent suggestion that young people under the age of 25 might be barred from receiving Housing Benefit has re-ignited the debate about welfare reform. Talk of a further ‘benefits crackdown’ duly generated the positive headlines that Downing Street strategists were after, while opponents howled in apocalyptic objection to this latest attempt to control the benefits bill. Pretty soon, the political debate moved on, everyone having fulfilled their roles to perfection. Evil Tory bogeymen, tabloid headline writers, charity campaigners all did exactly what we would have expected them to do. Maybe the specific proposal will remerge in future …

Posted in The Independent View | Tagged and | 5 Comments
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