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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A bid for more powers?

In a sign that the Welsh Assembly Government may be bidding for more powers the Deputy Housing Minister has just told the Plenary meeting that the 'credit crunch will not last forever'.

Well thank goodness for that. Perhaps she can now advise the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how to bring it to an end, or are we going to have to sit it out and let it take its course?

Whatever the reality the impact on the Assembly's housing policies could be quite severe. The target is to build 6,500 affordable homes by 2011 but faced with a tight budget settlement the amount of cash available to the Government is not sufficient even if it is always underspent. Perhaps that will change.

The result of this is that the government will be relying on planning agreements that lead to affordable homes being built by private developers as part of a larger development. Their problem is that if the number of housing units being built declines then so will the potential for new affordable homes and the 6,500 target will become even more unachievable. No wonder the Minister wants to see an end to the credit crunch as soon as possible.
A firm that might be expected to benefit from a demand for speedy house-building is cutting back in Wales. Kingspan Century is closing its Tredegar factory.
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