Can Kwasi get Britain building?

Can Kwasi get Britain building?

29th September 2022 | Fiona Gamwell

Chancellor’s investment zones promise to speed up planning process

The newly announced Investment Zones promise “an unprecedented set of tax incentives” to get Britain growing again. The government has vowed to liberalise planning rules in agreed sites, releasing land and accelerating development.

Ian Anfield, managing director of Hudson Contract, said: “Anything that speeds up the planning process and helps to get schemes approved is a good thing for the construction industry. We would much rather see money spent on construction work than lawyers arguing about whether schemes should go ahead or not.”

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng said the government is in early talks with nearly 40 places in England including the Tees Valley, the West Midlands, Norfolk and the West Country to establish Investment Zones and has promised to work with devolved administrations and local partners to make sure Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will also benefit, if they are willing to do so.

Ian added: “If the Investment Zones are aimed at levelling up and spreading wealth more evenly throughout the country, then the government should make sure the work goes to local contractors rather than national firms under framework agreements, which have little real benefit for local communities.”

The government also announced it was cutting stamp duty to help increase home ownership and give more people a stake in the success of the economy. The threshold has been doubled to £250,000 while the threshold for first time buyers has been increased to £425,000 from £300,000. Mr Kwarteng said the move – effective immediately - should remove 200,000 people from having to pay stamp duty.

Tags: Legislation, HMRC
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