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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Flint Flashes Figures

Congratulations to Caroline Flint, the housing minister, who inadvertently (or maybe deliberately) flashed to a waiting press pack a briefing document which showed the expected scenario for property prices for the coming year.

Her department expects house prices to fall by between 5%-10% this year "at best".

The notes, from which she briefed the Cabinet yesterday, stated that "we can't know how bad it [the housing market] will get".

The notes also warned that house building in the UK was "stalling".

All rather embarrassing for government, given their oft repeated claims that they want to accelerate the building of new homes across the country.

The good news is that her notes end:

"It is vital that we show that at this time of uncertainty we show that we are ON PEOPLE'S SIDE."

So that's alright then!

Doesn't that rather imply that the government does not regard itself as normally being "on the people's side"?

Given that this government is now so keen to show that it is on the "people's side" could it and Ms Flint please explain why it introduced HIP's, and precisely how this extra layer of unwanted costly bureaucracy will help unstall the housing market?

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