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Starmer outlines desire for 'patriotic economy' through boosting home ownership

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The Labour leader’s latest housing intervention comes as both parties prepare to battle for young people’s votes ahead of the next election.
Sunday 25 February 2024 22:32, UK
Sir Keir Starmer has outlined his desire to run a „patriotic economy” through boosting home ownership and creating the „next generation” of new towns if Labour wins the election.
The Labour leader will promise to deliver a „future built in Britain, by Britain, for Britain” while on a visit to a housing development in the West Midlands on Monday.
Speaking ahead of the visit, where he will be accompanied by deputy leader and shadow levelling up secretary Angela Rayner, Sir Keir said: „Britain’s workers and Britain’s interests have been failed”.
„Living standards have plummeted, as has the traditional British belief that if you work hard, it pays,” he added.
„For too many people a higher wage is beyond reach and buying a home has become a fantasy.
„The Conservative Party’s economic choices run completely against those values. Meanwhile, their promises on levelling up are empty. The Tories aren’t just betting the house, they’re betting yours.”
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Under their plans for housing, Labour will pledge to reform planning laws to allow 1.5m new homes to be built, while its „next generation” of towns will be funded by raising taxes on foreign owners of UK property.
The party has also promised to deliver the biggest boost to affordable, social and council housing for a generation by tightening rules to prevent developers from „wriggling out” of their planning responsibilities.
But Lee Rowley, the Conservative housing minister, said: „This empty announcement is proof Labour have no plan.
„This is the same Labour Party who blocked 100,000 new homes and whose deputy leader is engulfed in fresh scandal over claims she deprived families of social housing by playing the system.
„Labour have no plan for housing and no plan for the economy. Their 2030 decarbonisation promise which they themselves said costs £28bn would mean back to square one and higher taxes for working people.”
The Labour housing visit comes weeks after the party confirmed it was ditching a flagship pledge to spend £28bn a year on green investments if it wins the next general election.
The party said it will now spend just £23.7bn on environmental schemes over the course of its first term in office – equivalent to just under £5bn a year – in a move that was strongly criticised by environmental campaigners.
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Sir Keir has previously said the figure was being „stood down” because of the „damage” the Tories had done to the economy – citing the Liz Truss mini-budget and government plans to „max out the credit card”.
The departure from the £28bn pledge has been ridiculed by the Tories, who have seized on what they describe as Sir Keir’s „flip-flopping” on major policies as a key attack line.
Rishi Sunak said the Labour leader „doesn’t have a plan for Britain”.
„His pledge has a £28bn price tag and now he’s admitted there’s no plan to pay for it, which means going back to square one with higher taxes for working people,” he said.
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