Sam Clayden 29 April 2016

Whitehall should be 'embarrassed' by PAC report

Whitehall should be embarrassed by PAC report image

Whitehall should be ‘embarrassed’ by the findings of a public accounts committee (PAC) report into the extension of right to buy, according to the committee’s chair.

The report, published today, claimed the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) had presented Parliament with little information on the potential impacts of the legislation.  

It said it was ‘not clear how this policy will be funded in practice or what its financial impacts might be’.

PAC chair Meg Hillier said the department had merely offered ‘vague assurances about what it will accomplish and how’.

She said the Government’s approach to paying for the policy was ‘entirely speculative’ and there were ‘no costings or workings out’. 

Ms Hiller said: ‘We are not talking about back of the envelope calculations – there is no envelope at all.

‘Similarly scant regard appears to have been paid to the practical impact on social housing tenants, the long-term knock-on costs of the loss of social housing and the potential change in the mix of housing types.

‘We can form our own views about the Government’s motives for this but Parliament and the public are being asked to take a leap of faith about how this will stack up financially, and that is completely unacceptable.’

The committee called on the DCLG to publish a full analysis to ‘show how the policy is to be funded, provide a clear statement of where financial and other risks lie, and spell out its contingency plan if its policies prove not to be fiscally neutral’.

A DCLG spokesman said: 'This government is delivering on its commitment  to give more people the chance to become homeowners.

'Our voluntary agreement with housing associations will mean 1.3m tenants will have the chance to own their own home while every home sold will be replaced with a new affordable property.'

'We have always been clear we will set out further information as part of this process and regulations defining higher value will be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny,' they added.

For more visit The MJ (£).

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Assessing Fostering Practice Supervisor

North Yorkshire County Council
£39,880 - £43,857 per annum pro rata, Part-time/ 18.5 hours
Are you an experienced social worker seeking a new challenge? Would you like an opportunity to work in the Fostering Service? North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Commercial Vehicle Technician

Chelmsford City Council
£30,000 per annum
We are seeking a fully trained HGV technician to work as part of the team who maintain the Council's fleet to the highest standards.  Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO)

North Yorkshire County Council
£43,857 - £47,782 per annum pro rata.
Are you looking for a challenging and exciting role in a dedicated team? Selby, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Commercial Financial Controller

£63,000 - 71,000 per year + LGPS, Benefits
This individual will also be responsible for managing the financials for a number of trading businesses within... Leicestershire
Recuriter: ESPO

Deputy District Surveyor

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£60,000 - £63,900 per annum
In this role you will work with the Head of Building Control, District Surveyor and other members of the Service Leadership Team in ensuring... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue