Clearview North May 2013 - Issue 138 - Page 44

INDUSTRYNEWS The New Homes Bonus The Department for Communities and Local Government is not adequately monitoring the £1.3 billion New Homes Bonus paid to local authorities up to 2013-14, says the National Audit Office (NAO). The Department estimated that the scheme would deliver around 140,000 additional new homes over its first ten years, increasing the supply of housing by between 8 per cent and 13 per cent. However, the new homes estimate was produced using very limited evidence. The estimate also contained an arithmetical error, which significantly increased estimated construction rates. According to the NAO, the correct calculation of the increase in the housing supply would have been 6 per cent to 11 per cent, or 108,000 homes – 32,000 fewer than originally expected. The Department has plans to carry out a review of the New Homes Bonus during 2013-14, but has not decided upon its scope or methodology. The NAO has called the review of the scheme essential, and for it to be carried out urgently. “Some local authorities could face significant cuts in their funding as a result of the New Homes Bonus scheme. While it is too early for the scheme to have had a discernible impact on the number of new homes, the signs are not encouraging,” said Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office. “The Department must now urgently carry out its proposed review of the scheme to ensure that it successfully encourages the construction of much-needed new homes.” Deregulatory Changes to Building Regs Business Minister Michael Fallon welcomed a boost for business as dozens of cuts to red tape came into force last month. The reforms respond directly to issues raised by businesses, including through the ‘Red Tape Challenge’, which invites firms to give their views on which regulations should be improved or scrapped. Simplifying the way firms use their assets to raise finance will save businesses over £21 million. Changes include moving registration and payment online and introducing a UK-wide registration system for the first time. Deregulatory changes to building regulations are part of a wider package that will save business in total over £50 million per year, whilst ensuring buildings remain safe and sustainable. Reforms that have come into force include reducing administration on low-risk electrical works, and clearer, more consistent guidance on requirements for access to buildings, glazing and protection from falling. The drive to simplify health and safety requirements continues with the removal of a raft of redundant or unnecessary regulations. The minimum consultation required for large-scale redundancies has also fallen from 90 to 45 days, giving employers greater flexibility to restructure but ensuring that meaningful consultation with staff takes place. Business Minister Michael Fallon said: “Setting business free from the restrictions that hold back enterprise is a compulsory step on the road to growth. “As well as cutting the overall burden of regulation, we are sharpening up how rules are enforced. We’ll make su &R&VwVFv&2FRV&Ɩ2FW&W7BvFWB7FfƖrv&Frf&2BW&rw&wF( РTd5EU$r$DU%2$T$TBbDU$DRu$uDUT5DT@Vf7GW&W'2&W'FVB&V&VB&FW'2B6FVRFWV7BFW&FRw&wFWGWBfW"FRWBF&VRF266&FrFFR4$FǒGW7G&G&VG27W'fWf"fV''V'bFRC3bVf7GW&W'2RR&W7FVBFBFF&FW"&2vW&R&fR&B#R6BFWvW&R&Vrvfr&6RbBRF2&W&W6VG27&V6RbbG2g&FRV'7W'fWB2ƗGFR&fRFRr'VfW&vRrRW'B&FW"&26&fVB6WvB&Vv7FW&r&6Rb#RƖRvFFRr'VfW&vR#R'WB&VVBvV&VrFV6V&W"WfV2RrVBVf7GW&W'2WV7B6RFW&FRw&wFWGWBfW"FRWBV'FW"RRG&fVǒ'F"fV6W2bG&7'BWVVBBfBG&bF&66WV7FF2f"WGWB&6RfFf"FRWBV'FW"&Vv#RF"fV6RbG&7'BWVVBVf7GW&W'2&W'FVBG27G&vW7BfFWV7FFfW"V'2fg6WGFrFR6Ɩrb&6RWV7FF2FRfBG&bF&666V7F"V64$VBbV6֖2Ǘ626CFW7Bw&wFfW"WBV'FW ( FR&V&VBVf7GW&r&FW'2BWV7FF2f"WGWBw&wF&fFR6RgW'FW"6v2b&fVVBFRWFf"FRTV6גvWfW"W'B&FW"&2&RƖVǒF&V&VFfVǒvVVFv&6FF2W7V6ǒFRWW&R&fR&R&VFǒ( РC@DR#255TR54$TB%EU$dUF&VB&Rf6Bwwr6V'fWrV6Р