Rishi Sunak, UK's newly elected prime minister is already facing the first rebellion from Tory MPs over UK's plans for new housebuilding targets. The UK parliament was set to take a vote on new housing targets next Monday but was delayed after Conservative MPs signed an amendment to abolish certain sections of the new bill.
The vote has been delayed after dozens of MPs threatened to rebel, The Telegraph reported.
The report said that 50 Conservative MPs signed an amendment to the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill in a bid to abolish the mandatory house-building targets for local authorities. The government cited "a packed parliamentary timetable" for putting the vote on hold."
Here is all you need to know about the rebellion that Sunak is facing and how it will impact his premiership:
Why are Torys rebelling?
The UK Parliament was set to vote on the new mandatory targets of building 3,00000 houses a year under the UK government's levelling up mission next Monday. But the rebelling Conservative MPs have sought amendments to the bill seeking an end to the mandatory targets for the local authorities, making them advisory only, The Guardian reported.
The Conservative MPs backing the amendment include former cabinet ministers such as Damian Green, Esther McVey, Priti Patel, Chris Grayling and Iain Duncan Smith and other prominent MPs including Tracey Crouch, Treasury select committee chair Harriett Baldwin, foreign affairs committee chair Alicia Kearns and Maria Miller.
What is UK's housing target?
The new housing targets were introduced by the Conservative party in 2019 in its manifesto to reduce the disparities, primarily economic, between areas and social groups across the United Kingdom. The white paper of the levelling up spells out "12 national missions" to be achieved, by 2030. The implementation of the policy is overseen by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities with Michael Gove as its Secretary of State.
One of the 12 missions is to increase the number of first-time home buyers in all UK areas with the aim to reduce the "number of rented homes deemed non-decent" by 50%.
In October when Sunak succeeded Truss, Gove in an interview with the BBC said that the target of 300,000 new homes a year would continue, adding that the economic circumstances would make meeting the target difficult.
"We need to be straight with people: the cost of materials has increased because of the problems with global supply chains and also a very tight labour market means that the capacity to build those homes at the rate we want is constrained," he was quoted as saying.
What are the experts saying?
Former housing secretary Simon Clarke said that the "abandonment of all housing targets" is not the right response". "There is no question that this amendment would be very wrong. I understand totally how inappropriate development has poisoned the debate on new homes in constituencies like Chipping Barnet, but I do not believe the abandonment of all housing targets is the right response," he wrote in a tweet.
Robert Colvile, director of the thinks thank CPS and co-author of 2019 Tory manifesto, slammed the rebelling MPs and said the scrapping of housing targets was "selfish", in an article in Times magazine.
"The actual effect would be to enshrine nimbyism as the governing principle of British society – to snap the levers that force councils to build, and leave every proposed development at the mercy of the propertied and privileged," he wrote. NIMBY stands for Not In My Back Yard, an acronym used to describe a phenomenon in which residents of a neighbourhood designate a new construction in terms of affordable housing as "inappropriate."
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