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Firms offered 'build now, pay later'

Publicly owned land is to be handed over to construction companies who will be allowed pay nothing until they sell every home built on it, the Financial Times has reported.

The government has said it will introduce a ‘buy now, pay later’ incentive to builders struggling for cash for developments on state-owned land.

The move is set to be included the next Budget from the Tory-Lib Dem coalition, on 23 March. Ministers worried that the UK economy is not recovering after all are said to be considering different moves to ‘encourage growth’.

Another plan in the pipeline is to create so-called enterprise zones with fewer planning restrictions than elsewhere and to allow companies which use them to pay no business tax.

Ministers are determined to increase the number of properties being built across the UK because the industry has been unable to make much profit in recent months.

A government source told the Financial Times: ‘Construction was the biggest loser in the last quarter so we need to get the builders going again.’

According to the Home Builders Federation, increasing the supply of land is “essential” if the rate of housebuilding is to increase.

Readers' comments (1)

  • David Benson

    Sound's interesting, but as ever, the devil's in the detail:
    - What happens if the builder can't get planning permission?
    - What happens if the builder does the deal but doesn't build anything?
    - What happens if the market moves quickly afer a deal is struck?

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