Speech: Speech by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury at the Spectator Housing Summit

first_imgFor me, it’s personal.As Virginia Woolf said: A woman must have money and a room of her own.What she was talking about was having the power to shape her own life.So, as a 21-year-old graduate from Leeds, I followed that advice.I headed for the bright lights, big city for my first job as an accountant.We want the next generation to have the chance to better themselves, to be able to move where there are the best jobs and the best opportunities.Young people are at the forefront of a huge shake up of the economy.They are the freest generation ever: the Uber-riding, Deliveroo-eating freedom fighters.They’re not just hungry for pizza, they’re hungry for success.They have the desire to shape their own future.But at the moment they’re spending too much time as frustrated flat hunters. To paraphrase Norman Tebbit, the new generation want to get on their bikes, hit the road, and find the best jobs in the best cities.But even though this generation are keen cyclists, they’re not getting in the saddle.Because it’s no use getting on your bike to find a job, if you end up with nowhere to lock it up.It doesn’t matter where you want to go – Norwich, York or London, if you want to go there and get the best job, you should be able to.I want everyone to be able to move house to get a better job, so they can get on in life.And accepting the status quo is bitterly unfair.[Political content removed]We also need to make sure that the record number of new businesses we have in the UK get access to the best talent.For the sake of society, we need to make sure our villages are viable – that they have the houses, schools and shops to thrive.And for the sake of our economy, we need to let our most successful, towns and cities expand.In Medieval times, Norwich was the second-largest city in England, agriculture’s answer to Silicon Valley.Then, during the industrial revolution, the country marched to the beat of the North, and workers flocked upcountry.It was not so much a gold-rush as a cold-rush.The point is that when towns have their moment, people move to the places where the wages are highest. That’s resulted in Britain’s economy growing faster.Today, London is as productive as Germany, while cities like Oxford, Cambridge and York are bursting with potential.These are towns calling out to workers everywhere, desperate for more hands to the pump.But according to the Resolution Foundation, the share of working age people moving for jobs has gone down by 25 per cent since 2001, with the most significant decline among young graduates.What’s more, the typical person would have been £2000 better off getting on their bike.So we need to need to let these towns off the leash, because we all stand to benefit, in our wages and in our quality of life.A recent study in America by Hsieh and Moretti showed that freeing up housing regulations in New York, San Jose and San Francisco to median levels could increase the US’s GDP by 3.7 per cent, which would mean an extra $3,500 in wages for all workers.But the most productive cities are being held back by zoning requirements.And it’s much the same story in the UK – restrictions on building are holding cities up.Analysis shows that opening up planning is one of the fastest things we could do to boost our country’s productivity.This is why reform is so urgent.It’s restrictions that are causing problems, but there are some out there who say that the solution is more restrictions, more control, more state interference.This is the opposite of what we need.[Political content removed]Others are calling for a £10,000 bung to 25-year-olds – which they’ll all end up paying back in higher taxes.I think it’s a myth that young people want free things. The fact is they want free-dom – to work and live where they choose, and that will take radical action.Because all of these are attempts to cure symptoms.None aim to tackle the underlying issue, which is supply.The answer is not top-down meddling, but encouraging disruption.We need to open up more land to build on.That means challenging the vested interests.We need to challenge the NIMBYs, comfortable in their big houses in suburbia.The fact is that flats and houses need to be built where they are needed.We all want somewhere for our children to live – not least because that means they don’t have to live with us until they are 30!We need to make better use of the land that we have. We are also making plans for the future, including the corridor between the bright lights of Oxford and Cambridge – we have concluded a deal targeting 100,000 new homes by 2031. In the 1930s, before planning system was introduced, there were ~265k houses built by the private sector a year – which goes to show we can do this! We are introducing minimum densities for housing development in city centres, and have extended freedoms to convert certain types of property into housing. And last year, there were 217,000 net additional new homes in Britain, which shows massive progress. We modernised outdated estate agent legislation in 2013, making it easier for excellent websites such as Zoopla to provide the information that renters and house buyers need when deciding where they want to move – including whether their garden is south facing. We’re cutting through bureaucracy and, since overhaul of planning act in 2012, we’ve gone from 200k to 350k planning permissions per year. Britain should be an opportunity nation where you can get on your bike and find a job where you want.This is what I mean by freedom of movement.It’s part and parcel of a free enterprise economy, which is what drives growth and prosperity.Our job in government is to help achieve that.With better and more affordable housing, we can improve social mobility, address wealth inequality, and make sure our country’s opportunities are open to everyone – big or small, north or south, man or woman. According to the CPS, the cost of living and housing are the most important issues. Renters face high housing costs, with nearly half of income going on rents in London on average. The average London house price is 12 times higher than the average London wage – when you can only get a mortgage at four or five times your salary. Meanwhile Airbnb and Spareroom have helped people find – like Harry Potter and his friends – a room of requirement.We need to liberate business planning in high-growth, free enterprise areas.I would like to see more of the development model used to build Canary Wharf – A Canary North!And we also need to look at those councils around the country who are not delivering.[Political content removed]Last November, we singled out 15 other councils that are holding back people who want to develop land and create new opportunities, and the government has started intervening in 3 of these cases.I’m pleased to say, though, that this government allowed local people to make their own neighbourhood plans, so that they can do what’s best for their villages.[Political content removed]That’s why our reforms, put forward by Sajid Javid, and taken forward by James Brokenshire, are so important. We also need to encourage more creative tools that give more power and freedom to the individual. And we’re streamlining the Byzantine planning system, to make it easier for the small firms to compete, to disrupt the market and, through fierce competition, build the houses and offices and factories that will make Britain successful. This goes alongside our investment in infrastructure – a 40-year-high – which will connect all these new homes with the modern roads and railways people need to get around. We’ve removed stamp duty for first-time buyers purchasing a house under £300,000 – that’s 4 out of 5 cases. This will save people £1,700 on average, and help over a million first time buyers getting onto the housing ladder over the next five yearslast_img read more

Transfer: Mikel’s Chelsea Exit Imminent

first_imgAlready, a very close confidant of the Chelsea midfielder admitted at the weekend that Obi and his managerial team are currently perusing all the offers on the table with the hope of picking the ‘most suitable’ of them all.“He is not looking for a club to win more trophies again. He is looking for a club, who will give him the right money. That is the more reason the agents are now carefully studying the offers tabled by all the clubs interested in his services,” revealed the close confidant of Mikel to Africanfootball.com.“He has achieved all what he can in football, so he needs the money now.”Two seasons ago, Mikel demanded a salary of six million dollars tax-free a year if he were to quit Stamford Bridge.It is already understood that Inter Milan has tabled a bigger offer than Olympique Marseille for the Nigeria skipper.Four top Chinese clubs as well as top French club Marseille and Milan rivals Inter and AC Milan are believed to be in the hunt for the experienced midfielder.The 29-year-old Mikel has outdone the legendary Nwankwo Kanu as the most decorated Nigeria star after he won both the UEFA Champions League and Europa League as well as two Premier League titles, four FA Cup and two League Cup winners’ medals.Just last summer, Mikel led Nigeria’s Dream Team VI to win Nigeria’s only medal -a bronze, in the men’s Olympic football event in Rio, Brazil.It is generally believed that Mikel is paying for the ‘sin’ of going to the Olympic when a new manager stepped into the saddle at Stamford Bridge. He has remained frozen out of action since the beginning of the current season.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Femi Solaja with agency reportIt is apparently becoming clear to fans of English Premiership club, Chelsea that Super Eaglers Captain, John Mikel Obi, will be among the first set of players to be shipped out when the winter transfer window opens in just matter of days.last_img read more

Mourinho takes swipe at Aguero ahead of City clash

first_imgManchester, United Kingdom | AFP | Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has taken a veiled swipe at Manchester City star Sergio Aguero before Sunday’s derby showdown at the Etihad Stadium.Mourinho said of Aguero that “there are little things in his game I am not a fan of”, although he declined to elaborate further when asked.Aguero, City’s all-time leading scorer, was criticised heavily by Mourinho after a 0-0 draw with United at the Etihad in April 2017.United midfielder Marouane Fellaini was sent off for a headbutt on the Argentina international, with Mourinho suggesting the striker’s reaction had been over-dramatic.“I saw Aguero in the tunnel but (there was) no broken nose, no broken head, (and) his face is nice as always,” Mourinho said at the time.Mourinho was quick to pay tribute to Aguero’s qualities as a goalscorer before United’s latest clash with arch rivals City, but he dropped a strong hint that he believes there is a dark side to his game.“I only fear when I play against him. I admire him because of his fantastic qualities,” Mourinho said.“There are little things in his game that I am not a big fan of, but the numbers speak by themselves. The number of goals he scores.“It is not about scoring for one season, it is about scoring goals in your career. It is about scoring goals in a different league, like the Spanish league. Clearly he is a goalscorer all over the world.”Asked what it was about Aguero he was not a fan of, Mourinho responded: “I keep (that) for me.”Meanwhile, the United manager made what appeared to be a reference to City’s spending when discussing his own squad rebuilding job at Old Trafford.Mourinho has spent an estimated £370 million ($480 million) on players since arriving at United in May 2016, while City manager Pep Guardiola is thought to have spent around £485 million over the same period. – Case for the defence –United have spent extensively in central defence, midfield and attack during Mourinho’s reign, although the manager chose to focus on the full-back positions, an area in which City invested heavily in the summer of 2017, when they signed Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo.Mourinho cited the example of Luke Shaw, a player who is now a regular in the United side after a long spell struggling for form, as an example of his ability to develop players on his books rather than dip into the transfer market for a replacement.“If I need a full-back and I buy four, it is easier,” Mourinho said.“If I need a full-back because I am not happy with Luke Shaw’s level, the easiest thing is to buy four. Some clubs can buy four.”City have only bought three full-backs under Guardiola, but no other Premier League club has spent as much money in that position over the past three years, suggesting that they were the target of Mourinho’s comments.“We didn’t buy a left-back for three years. We were wishing and working for Luke Shaw to be that left-back, but during that process we played Matteo Darmian, we played Ashley Young, we played Marcos Rojo,” he said.“We didn’t buy four. There is a difference. To buy four you only need good scouting and money. To make players takes more time.”United go into Sunday’s derby having won three games in a row, reducing talk of a crisis that, at one stage in early October, looked as if it might cost Mourinho his job.The former Chelsea boss says fevered talk of problems at Old Trafford comes with the territory of managing such a prestigious club.“It is Manchester United’s fault. When I say fault, I mean for the right reasons,” he said.“It is the history of the club that makes one defeat become a crisis. It is the history, the prestige.”Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more