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My views on the Budget

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16 July 2015
Budget 2015 Earlier this week I had my chance to set out my views in the House of Commons on the Chancellor’s recent Budget. 

I began my speech by welcoming the Government’s plans to abolish permanent non-dom status, fund the NHS and expand apprenticeships. However, I expressed concern about their rebranding exercise on the minimum wage, their plans to end maintenance grants to less well-off students and some of the changes to tax credits, which are a lifeline for many people in low paid work.

I went on to focus on an area of policy though which was absent from the Chancellor’s announcement – the chronic undersupply of affordable housing in London. Demanding the supply of new, genuinely affordable homes in the capital has been one of my main areas of focus during my five years in Parliament as I believe it’s the single biggest concern of people living in my constituency. There is not a day that goes by when someone doesn’t contact me about their housing problems and the situation just seems to be getting worse, with rents soaring and the capital’s population increasing.

Too many of the capital’s lowest paid workers struggle to access secure and affordable housing. They often live in private rented homes, worrying about the threat of eviction. This situation isn’t just bad for them but it is bad for the Treasury too, with their wages often topped-up by housing benefit which goes straight to the private landlords. It is for this reason that I called on the Government to urgently increase the supply of social housing – let at 50% of market rent – built by councils or housing associations and to ensure that public land is used to build homes which Londoners can afford to live in.

It is clear from the Chancellor’s announcement and his party’s record in Government that affordable housing isn’t their priority. For me, it absolutely is and I will continue to make the case for investment.

You can read my speech in full here.

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