Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined the new Conservative Party manifesto on 24th November, under the tagline “Get Brexit Done – Unleash Britain’s Potential.”
The unveiling came just under three weeks before the UK is expected to go to the polls in the upcoming December general election.
Brandishing a copy of the new manifesto at a special press event, Mr Johnson vowed to forge a new Britain, with a range of policies aiming to address problems in the housing market, as well a number of proposals related to the NHS.
Section 21 to be axed
The new Conservative manifesto maintained the party’s commitment to abolishing no-fault evictions, which are still permitted under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. This comes after Theresa May’s government announced proposals to do so back in April.
A consultation followed in July, which wrapped up in October. The inclusion of the proposal in the manifesto document itself has helped make it become one of the core housing policies for a future Conservative majority government.
Its inclusion comes, despite a number of landlord associations voicing concerns about potential open-ended tenancies, if such a policy came to pass.
The Conservatives manifesto explained the party’s position, stating: “This will create a fairer rental market: if you’re a tenant, you will be protected from revenge evictions and rogue landlords, and if you’re one of the many good landlords, we will strengthen your rights of possession.”
Housebuilding remains on the agenda
The Conservatives, if re-elected, would continue to seek an increase in the volume of new homes being built, in order to satisfy the high demand for housing, in a country with a growing population.
In line with the government’s pledge in the spring, the party intends to ensure the creation of 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s. The Conservative manifesto claimed such a target would ensure the building of a million new homes by 2024.
However, official government statistics published in October suggested that the government was failing to reach this target by mid-2019, with the number of new dwellings built between mid-2018 and mid-2019 closer to 173,000, just over half of the government’s intended target.
One of the other major policy announcements that came from the Conservative manifesto launch was the proposal to introduce a Stamp Duty surcharge on non-UK resident buyers. The move would increase the financial burden on those seeking to acquire UK properties, if based abroad.
The move comes, after an estate and letting agency released a report, suggesting that an increasing number of properties to let are now held by landlords from overseas. Economic factors including a weaker Pound were cited as reasons for increased demand from overseas buyers.
With less than a month to go until election day, the Conservatives continue to have a double-digit poll lead over Labour, according to the latest polling data. This comes, as support for the Brexit Party has waned in recent weeks.