Darling announces new housing measures for North West

Chancellor of Exchequer, Alistair Darling, has announced a series of housing measures to help home owners in the North West, at today's Pre-Budget Report.

The Government said the bringing forward of investment in new social housing stock will help the 8,530 households deemed in priority need of housing in the North West.

As part of a fiscal stimulus package, there will be a temporary reduction in the standard rate of VAT to 15% from 1 December 2008 until 31 December 2009 to provide further support for growth and incomes during the economic downturn.

This is the equivalent, for the average household, of £275 a year for extra spending. The Government is also bringing forward £3bn of capital spending from 2010-11 to 2008-09 and 2009-10.

The Chancellor has stated that by bringing forward valuable public investment it will impact directly on economic activity in the UK. In particular, this will support the construction sector, which is expected to be disproportionately affected by the economic downturn.

Beverley Hughes, Regional Minister for the North West, said: "Recognising the pressures on families and households at these more uncertain economic times is critical. The Government has used the Pre-Budget Report to set out a clear set of measures that will support the most vulnerable, and help individuals, families and businesses both here in the North West and across the country."

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