Sign up to our Editors Choice newsletter now! Click here

New Homes Bonus 'draining resources from north to south'

Accessibility Menu

Menu Search

24dash - The UK's most up-to-date social housing and public sector news website

New Homes Bonus 'draining resources from north to south'

24DASH.COM Logo

Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Development, Finance

New Homes Bonus 'draining resources from north to south' New Homes Bonus 'draining resources from north to south'

The Government's New Home Bonus Scheme (NHBS) is draining resources from the north of England to the south, according to UNISON.

Under the NHBS, money is deducted from individual councils' grants and redistributed to areas where most new housing is being built.

UNISON claims that funds are going to areas not on the basis of need or population but to the places where private developers choose to build. The union suggests that building firms tend not to build in poorer areas, instead opting for regions where the potential for profit is greatest.

UNISON is now demanding that the Government puts a stop to "deprived areas being penalised in this way".

A table of individual councils across England shows the scale of the loss with more than 60% of NHBS money spread between London, the South East, East of England and South West.

Oldham, Knowsley, and Newcastle are among the spots losing the most in the country.

For every £1 Oldham pays into the NHBS, it gets 11p in return, whilst Knowsley gets back 15p for every £1 it loses.

UNISON found that the biggest winners from the NHBS are Uttlesford, which gets back £19.34 for every £1 it pays out. Basingstoke and Deane gets back £18.70 for every £1 paid to the NHBS, whilst and Forest Heath gets back £15.80 for every £1.

Dave Prentis, General Secretary of UNISON, said: "It is grossly unfair that the Government is using its NHBS to shift scarce resources from the hard hit north to wealthier parts of the south. Over 60% of money is spread between London, the South East, East of England and South West. It cannot be a coincidence that the Tory heartland is where most money is being directed.

"To most people it is obvious that private developers will be slow to build new homes in areas where the recession is biting deepest. What is less obvious is that the money for NHBS is deducted from the money that councils are supposed to get from the Government. It is being top-sliced from the formula grant and redistributed via the NHBS. And because it is distributed differently - not on the basis of need or population - councils in the south are getting much more than their fair share."

We are currently awaiting a response from the Department for Local Government and Communities.

Comments

Login and comment using one of your accounts...