New Chancellor lays out plans to “get Britain building again”

New Chancellor lays out plans to “get Britain building again”

Labour Prime Minister Keir Starmer’s new cabinet get to work…

Following the Labour Party’s landslide victory, new Prime Minister Keir Starmer has named his cabinet, appointing Angela Rayner as Deputy PM and Rachel Reeves as the UK’s first female Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Yvette Cooper is the new Home Secretary, David Lammy – Foreign Secretary, Wes Streeting – Health Secretary, Shabana Mahmood – Secretary of State for Justice and Ed Miliband – Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero. The full cabinet can be found here.

Rayner, who was elected as the MP for Ashton-under-Lyne in May 2015, also takes on the role of Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

In her first speech as Chancellor, Rachel Reeves, promised to take immediate action to fix the foundations of the economy, rebuild Britain and make every part of the country better off.

Reeves addressed the economic inheritance the new government faces and committed to taking immediate action to drive sustained economic growth.

Setting out her first steps to deliver on the government’s commitments in its manifesto, the Chancellor promised a new economic model that will grow the economy and keep taxes, inflation and mortgages as low as possible.

The Chancellor said had the UK economy grown at the average rate of OECD economies over the fourteen years from 2010, it would be £143.3 billion larger – worth £5,053 for every household in the country. This could have brought in an additional £58 billion in tax revenues in the last year alone to sustain our public services.

Reeves went on to announce a series of measures, including taking urgent steps to build 1.5 million homes over the next five years and the immediate removal of the de facto ban on onshore wind in England, as part of its clean energy mission.

“Over the weekend, I met with the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister to agree the urgent action needed to fix our planning system.

“Today, alongside the Deputy Prime Minister, I am taking immediate action to deliver this government’s mission to kickstart economic growth;

“And to take the urgent steps necessary to build the infrastructure that we need, including one and a half million homes over the next five years.

“The system needs a new signal. This is that signal.

“First, we will reform the National Planning Policy Framework, consulting on a new growth-focused approach to the planning system before the end of the month, including restoring mandatory housing targets.

“And, as of today, we are ending the absurd ban on new onshore wind in England. We will also go further and consult on bringing onshore wind back into the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime, meaning decisions on large developments will be taken nationally not locally.

“Second, we will give priority to energy projects in the system to ensure they make swift progress… and we will build on the spatial plan for energy by expanding this to other infrastructure sectors.  

“Third, we will create a new taskforce to accelerate stalled housing sites in our country…beginning with Liverpool Central Docks, Worcester Parkway, Northstowe and Langley Sutton Coldfield, representing more than 14,000 homes.

“Fourth, we will also support local authorities with 300 additional planning officers across the country.

“Fifth, if we are to put growth at the centre of our planning system, that means changes not only to the system itself, but to the way that ministers use our powers for direct intervention.

“The Deputy Prime Minister has said that when she intervenes in the economic planning system, the benefit of development will be a central consideration and that she will not hesitate to review an application where the potential gain for the regional and national economies warrant it and I welcome her decision to recover two planning appeals already, for data centres in Buckinghamshire and in Hertfordshire.

“To facilitate this new approach, the Deputy Prime Minister will also write to local mayors and the Office for Investment to ensure that any investment opportunity with important planning considerations that comes across their desks is brought to her attention and also to mine.

“The Deputy Prime Minister will also write to Local Planning Authorities alongside the National Planning Policy Framework consultation, making clear what will now be expected of them including universal coverage of local plans, and reviews of greenbelt boundaries. These will prioritise Brownfield and grey belt land for development to meet housing targets where needed.

“And our golden rules will make sure the development this frees up will allow us to deliver thousands of the affordable homes too, including more for social rent.

“Sixth, as well as unlocking new housing, we will also reform the planning system to deliver the infrastructure that our country needs.”

Deputy Prime Minister Angela Rayner said: “Our country is under new management and a new era for economic growth will be built on secure foundations.

“The Chancellor and I will work in lockstep to kickstart the economy, unleashing housebuilding and powering local growth.

“Change starts now. We will unblock the bottlenecks and drive forward a transformational package to build the homes people need.”