As well as targeting specific funds to get stalled schemes in our most buoyant cities moving, we need to see more autonomy for cities to drive investment in new housing. By removing the restrictions on councils' ability to borrow money against their existing housing assets to invest in new housing, industry experts suggest councils could borrow an additional £2.8bn to invest in new housing.
Amidst this week's economic gloom were two bright spots of the jobs market. First, new stats from the ONS led to widespread reports that employment had again reached record levels, with the number of people in work rising 131,000 in the quarter to 29.7 million. Then the OBR upgraded its forecasts for employment over the next few years.
The first substantive line of George Osborne's budget speech was: "We've now cut the deficit not by a quarter, but by a third". This might be surprising to anybody who read my earlier blog here, which pointed out that the deficit had (measured on a rolling twelve- month basis) been rising, not falling, for the last year or so.
Rarely, in recent memory, has something I read crawled so under my skin. I chanced upon Natalie Gyte's vitriolic and irrational diatribe against Eve Ensler and her recently launched One Billion Rising (OBR) campaign right before I was about to go to bed. The factual, philosophical and logical craters in Gyte's essay 'Why I Won't Support One Billion Rising' swallowed my sleep for the night. But what truly kept me awake were the unnecessary personal attacks against a brave woman and her path-breaking work.