Southampton to lose out under Coalition housing incentives scheme

Posted on October 8, 2010 by

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Southampton City Council is set to lose out on funding from central government under the Coalition Government’s new housing incentives scheme, with over a projected loss of over 2 million pounds over the next 6 years, which could lead to higher council taxes to make up the shortfall.

Alan vs. the ConDem Coalition - the battle continues...

The scheme involves local councils being given financial incentives to give more planning permission for new homes in their area, but no new money has been made available in order to do this.  As a result the money will come from the existing social housing budget.

As Southampton, along with many other cities, has little extra space to build and already has a large stock of social housing, money would be diverted from here to other areas where expansion is possible.  This would result in a drop in funding to the council, with an estimated £98,000 in the first year rising to £2,048,000 over 6 years.

Such a large drop in funding could inevitably lead to council tax hikes as Southampton and other cities affected struggle to cope, despite the Chancellor’s promise that council tax wouldn’t rise in the near future.

The MP for Southampton Test, Alan Whitehead, has spoken out against this policy, saying:

This flawed and ill-thought through scheme will do nothing to build the new
homes we need and will leave people in Southampton facing even deeper cuts
to public services, and higher rises in their council tax bills.

The Government should be building a genuine incentive and planning system
to build homes, not cutting housing investment, and promoting this con of a
policy around the country.

So far it seems the Coalition Government’s schemes and cuts are and will affect Southampton more than other areas, leaving many residents potentially wondering how fair these changes and cuts are being thought out.  How much will we bear the brunt of?

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Posted in: News, Southampton, UK