Rachel Reeves orders urgent review of Conservative inheritance spending

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Rachel Reeves has instructed the Treasury to provide a Conservative review of state spending as she prepares the ground for tough choices on public finances later this year.

The chancellor said decisions had been “postponed and avoided” by the previous government, leaving the UK economy facing “its worst situation since the Second World War”.

“We are facing the legacy of 14 years of economic chaos and irresponsibility, which is why over the weekend I instructed Treasury officials to provide a review of our spending,” she said in a speech at the Treasury on Monday.

Treasury Analysis Labor She added that the government’s financial legacy from Rishi Sunak’s Conservative government would be announced before the summer break later this month and would pave the way for “difficult decisions” in the autumn Budget.

Putting the task of boosting growth at the heart of his “national mission”, Reeves declared that the UK now had a “stable government” that would work with business, while reiterating a previous pledge not to raise core tax rates on income tax, national insurance and VAT.

She focused her speech on reforming the country’s rigid planning system, saying her party had been “elected with a mandate to get things done and rebuild Britain”.

The Labour government has set a target of building 1.5 million new homes in the UK over the next five years, with measures including reform of the National Planning Policy Framework due later this month. She added that mandatory housing targets would be restored and the de facto ban on onshore wind farms in the UK would be ended.

She pledged to end the meandering of planning decisions, saying “we will not succumb to the status quo of responding to the existence of trade-offs by always saying no”.

Among the measures outlined by Reeves is an effort to remove “stalled sites” of large housing projects that are mid-development — two of which were approved over the weekend. She will work with mayors and councils to develop a list of target sites.

Neil Jefferson, chief executive of the House Building Federation, welcomed the return of housing targets for local authorities. “We can only build if we plan effectively and if councils take responsibility for the housing needs of their communities,” he said.

But Jefferson said the government also needs to lift a 160,000-home ban due to environmental regulations and provide new homebuyer subsidies to encourage more construction.


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