Theresa May’s social housing pledge has been dubbed a non-announcement by the former Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis.
The government’s £2 billion pledge was ridiculed on Twitter this morning after it got a warm reception from the mainstream media.
Despite giving just a tenth of what Scotland is spending on social housing pro rata the PM still declared that the government’s scheme is a big step removing the “stigma” of social housing.
May, along with most other news outlets, failed to mention that the initiative doesn’t start for three years and is spread over the next seven, and that the pledge is tiny compared to a nation roughly a tenth the size of England.
According to Adonis, treasury officials have said privately that Philip Hammond absolutely refused to give anything for social housing in the current spending period and only agreed to tiny amount post-2021 provided it is spread vaguely over a longer period.
He shared his dismay that the BBC was unable to report anything other than the “Number 10 hype” about a “non-announcement”.
According to official statistics released last year the number of new government-funded houses built for social rent each year has plummeted by 97 per cent since the Conservatives took office in 2010.
More than 36,700 new socially rented homes were built with government money in England in 2010-11 – the year in which the Tories came to power in coalition with the Liberal Democrats. By the 2016-17, financial year that finished in April, that figure had fallen to just 1,102.