Spring Statement 2019: Housing, Energy and Brexit

iStock- housing budget image.jpg

On Wednesday 13 March, two weeks before the UK is due to leave the EU, Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced the UK Government’s 2019 Spring Statement.

With Brexit continuing to steal the headlines, it was a slim Budget, but it did include commitments of relevance to the housing sector.

The Chancellor announced a new £3billion affordable homes scheme, which could help to deliver around 30,000 affordable houses across the UK.

Additionally, a new homes standard will be introduced to assist with ending fossil fuel heating systems in new houses by 2025. This announcement comes as the Institute of Welsh Affairs published their finalised Re-Energising Wales programme, which seeks to make Wales powered by 100% renewable energy by 2035.

The statement, which proved to be a “low-key mini budget” to avoid more difficulties for the Government as it attempts to finalise the EU withdrawal agreement, came up against strong criticism from Welsh politicians. Rebecca Evans AM, Welsh Minister for Finance, said that the Government is “paralysed” by Brexit and described the statement as a “do-nothing” budget, and Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards referred to it as a non-event.

The Welsh Conservatives, however, welcomed the Chancellors statement, adding that Hammond reinforced the UK Government’s commitment to Wales.

Follow us on Twitter @Grasshopper_UK or visit us at http://www.grasshopper-comms.co.uk/ for any updates on planning, policy and the built environment sector.