Dan Peters 19 March 2014

Budget 2014: Osborne backs garden cities

The creation of garden cities will help Chancellor George Osborne's Budget pledge to build more than 200,000 new homes for families.

Mr Osborne said the country needed to build more but insisted the Government would be ‘getting Britain building’.

He said: ‘House building is up 23% but that’s not enough.’

The chancellor announced the Government would publish a prospectus on garden cities after recently announcing that a new garden city with 15,000 new homes would be built at Ebbsfleet in Kent.

Mr Osborne said just 300 homes were built under Labour at Ebbsfleet, quipping the previous Government’s housing policy was ‘more ebb than fleet’.

He also announced that the Help to Buy equity loan scheme would be extended to the end of the decade, further reforms to the planning system and £0.5bn of finance for small house building firms.

Earlier, the Office for Budget Responsibility had forecasted that house prices would remain below their real terms peak until at least 2018 but Mr Osborne has asked the Financial Policy Committee to be ‘particularly vigilant against the emergence of potential risks’ in the market.

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