Housing and Planning

The government must not pick winners in the housing market


Lifestyle Economics

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Government and Institutions

Autumn Statement commentary

Government plans to commission, build and sell homes is at odds with the principles of a market economy

Commenting on the government proposal to directly commission, build and even sell homes, Mark Littlewood, Director-General at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“The idea that we need the government to build housing because house prices are high is as absurd as proposing that the increased price of food requires government to buy up land to run farms.”

“There is indisputable evidence that the UK’s rigid planning laws are the cause of structurally high prices, yet this proposal is an attempt to circumvent, not tackle, that problem. The government is recognising the negative impact of our draconian planning sytsem, but rather than reforming swathes of red tape, they are simply exempting themselves from existing regulations at the expense of the private sector.

“This proposal is a clear sign that the government, rather than people, will decide where homes are needed. This is completely at odds with the principles of a market economy.”

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Notes to editors:

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.