Transport links ‘key to jobs’

MPs line up to hear the Queen set out the agenda.

MPs line up to hear the Queen set out the agenda.

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The Government’s plans for the coming Parliament have received a cool response from surveyors.

In the Queen’s Speech the coalition set out plans to push forward with the high speed train links, to crack down on immigration, exempting employers from the first £2,000 of their National Insurance payments in an effort to support jobs.

But Stephen Thornton, UK Director of External Affairs at RICS said the Government need to do more to support jobs in the North West.

He said: “The Government’s focus on the delivery of HS2 in the Queen’s Speech is crucial to creating jobs and trade links around the country but unfortunately not until a distant point in the future.

“We need investment in smaller transport projects and improving our existing networks now otherwise there will be little left of our Northern towns and cities by the time HS2 is built.

“It is extremely disappointing that there was nothing in the Queen’s Speech that will begin improving our country’s transport networks today.

“Help To Buy has great potential to get more homes built and more people onto the property ladder but the Government needs to quickly announce the detail of the scheme, particularly how it intends to deal with buy to let properties and those in negative equity.

“Without urgent attention to detail, Government could end up with the opposite of what it intended – rising prices with many more locked out of the property market forever.”

He said the coalition plans to make landlords check to see if a tenant was an illegal immigrant could cause problems.

He said: “Government’s proposals to introduce a duty on all landlords to ensure that their tenants are in the UK
legally will impose more
red tape on all landlords, particularly the growing number of ‘amateur’ buy to let landlords.

“Government must also make sure that the proposals do not increase costs to renters which they can often ill afford. ‘

“‘Amateur’ landlords operate without proper training or guidance, putting themselves and their tenants at risk.

“The Government has stubbornly refused to look at introducing better laws to protect both landlords and tenants – it is unacceptable that it expects the property industry to deliver its immigration policy.

“Although the Queen’s Speech introduces potentially radical changes to pensions and social care, the real shape of the Government’s agenda to 2015 will be determined by the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) on June 26, and in the pace of the UK’s, the EU’s and global economic recovery.

“It remains to be seen whether this will deliver the real boost to construction, transport and home building our country needs.”

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