Boost for housebuilding to help first-time buyers

Darling will admit that Government has fallen behind target for new homes

Alistair Darling will include a £1bn plan to boost housebuilding in tomorrow's Budget as he admits that the Government is falling a long way short of its target of ensuring that 240,000 new homes are built each year.

The Chancellor will try to stave off a crisis over the supply of new homes, particularly for first-time buyers, which is being deepened by the recession. In the small print of his Budget statement, he will concede that the Government is behind schedule on its target of seeing 240,000 new homes a year built by 2016.

Also in jeopardy is Gordon Brown's goal of securing three million new homes by 2020 – one of the first pledges he made on becoming Prime Minister in 2007, when he raised the annual target by 40,000 a year.

Despite the recession Britain is still chronically short of housing, and government advisers have warned that demand will not meet supply unless there is a rapid increase in housebuilding. The number of new homes built rose to 210,000 in the 2008-09 financial year, but will decline sharply in the current year. Housebuilders predict a record low.

As a result the Chancellor will provide "gap funding" to allow mothballed housebuilding projects to go ahead on "ready to go" sites for which planning permission has been granted. They will include "shared equity" schemes, in which first-time buyers take a stake in a house or flat in partnership with a housing association.

Local authorities, who used to build hundreds of thousands of homes, will be allowed back into the market, and will be able to bid for government approval. The quickest and best value projects will be given the green light.

Mr Darling will extend the stamp duty holiday on properties costing less than £175,000, which was due to end in September, until the end of December.

He will announce a bonus for people with variable rate mortgages who lose their jobs. Interest paid by the Government will be calculated on a 6 per cent rate, even though the average rate has dropped to 4 per cent.

As he finalised his Budget package, Mr Darling came under fire from Labour, Tory and Liberal Democrat MPs. Thirty-two Labour backbenchers signed a Commons motion demanding help for up to 3.8 million low-paid people who are still worse off as a result of Mr Brown's decision to abolish the 10p bottom rate of income tax.

The Opposition seized on Treasury hints that it could take almost 10 years to plug the hole in the nation's finances, as the Chancellor prepares to announce that public borrowing could rise to £170bn.

George Osborne, the shadow Chancellor, said: "Promises to balance the budget in 10 years are laughable from a Labour government that can't get its fiscal forecasts right from one month to the next. What it really signals is that Alistair Darling will duck the difficult decision on public spending needed to deal with the Government's debt crisis – and will instead predictably leave those decisions to the next Conservative government."

Arts and Entertainment
TVShow's twee, safe facade smashed by ice cream melting scandal
News
newsVideo for No campaign was meant to get women voting
News
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
news
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sustainability Assessor

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Sustainability Assessor...

Teaching Assistant

£12000 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Secondary Teaching ...

Year 5/6 Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The successful applicant w...

Science Teacher

£110 - £150 per day + Mileage and Expenses: Randstad Education Leeds: This sch...

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?