Press Releases

11 Jun 2024

BPF reaction to the Conservative Party general election manifesto

Commenting on the Conservative Party 2024 general election manifesto, Melanie Leech CBE said:

“We have a housing emergency and it is positive to see a commitment to 1.6m new homes over the next Parliament, which needs to be translated into a clear target. Importantly this includes explicit support for different forms of housing, particularly homes for older people. Our manifesto, ‘Building our Future’ sets out how we think half a million bedrooms could be released back into the market by 2030 by boosting the supply of older people’s housing that better meets the needs of the UK’s growing elderly population.

“While the abolition of Stamp Duty up to £425,000 and a new Help to Buy scheme will help affordability for some, we need a clear plan on how supply will be increased across all tenures and the whole country over and above building in the inner cities. That needs reconciling with the ‘cast iron’ protection for Green Belt land, which we believe unnecessarily limits the scope to build on previously-developed and well-connected parts of it.

"We support the approach to renters' reform. It is really important that abolition of s21 is done thoughtfully, accompanied by court reform, to maintain investment in the sector. On leasehold reform, we worry that broad political statements do not match the practicalities of delivery. You can only move away from leasehold if there is a working alternative. Capping ground rents in such a broad-brush way is fraught with consequences that impact on leaseholders and freeholders.

"From a commercial perspective, the proposal to shift some of the burden of business rates onto warehouses misses the point, which is that the overall burden of business rates is simply too high for everyone. Alongside a reduction in the rate, what we need is more frequent revaluations to ensure that rates bills better track property values, and to de-couple business rates from inflation to make the tax more sustainable.”

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