After a long wait, Liz Truss has been elected as the new Conservative Party leader and will become Prime Minister later today after meeting the Queen. Truss has pledged a number of policies relating to the property sector over the last two months. Only time will tell which of these policies will be delivered, and the long-term effects they will have on the sector.
Let’s take a look at some of these policies:
- Energy bill freeze
In light of the cost-of-living crisis, Truss is expected to introduce a freeze on energy bills to help households cope with rising gas and electricity costs. What remains unclear is how this will be funded.
- Low-regulation ‘investment zones’
To support increased property development, Truss has pledged to set up ‘investment zones’, where reduced restrictions and regulations will create a boost in housebuilding.
- Tax cuts and deregulation
As part of what she has termed “the biggest change in our economic policy for 30 years”, Truss is favouring tax cuts and deregulation to give firms incentives to build new homes.
- Building on green belt land
Unlike her competitor Rishi Sunak, Truss is in favour of development on green belt land, pledging to build approximately one millionhomes here to allow under 40s to own their own homes.
- Moratorium on the green energy levy
In an effort to drive down energy bills, Liz Truss has pledged to suspend the green energy levy. This is a charge added to household bills to fund energy-efficient schemes such as the Energy Company Obligation, which provides insulation and other energy saving measures. But how big a dent will this make in our energy bills, and what will the effect be on environmental targets?
- “Break down barriers” to help first time buyers
Truss has pledged to help renters get on the property ladder, by allowing the use of rent payments as evidence in mortgage affordability assessments.
- Abandoning housing targets
Truss has dismissed housing targets as “Stalinist”, planning to ditch the government’s target of building 300,000 houses a year and instead focus on encouraging growth through the previously mentioned regulation reductions and tax cuts.