The Family Building Society has put together a list of three items which it thinks the Chancellor puts at the heart of his forthcoming statement on the UK’s economic condition and coming out of lockdown.
The society said that it believes that the COVID-19 crisis allows the Treasury to develop further its leading role in radical economic policy-making.
Mark Bogard (pictured), chief executive of The Family Building Society, said: “The Chancellor and the Treasury is to be congratulated on their response to COVID-19 so far.
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“They have torn up the rule book and acted boldly. We have three radical reforms that could make a real difference:
“First, every adult needs a ‘rainy day savings pot’. This is as important as having an NHS.
“Government needs to work from the bottom up to make sure working people save at least £5,000 available for a crisis. Nannying? Yes. Bureaucratic? Yes. Requiring an incentive? Yes. Open to basic rate taxpayers? Yes. Open to higher rate taxpayers? For some, yes, but let’s find better criteria than for receipt of child benefit.
“Second, there is a debt now that older people owe younger people. It is outrageous that students should be asked to pay interest of more than 6% on their educational loans.
“Young people have borne the brunt of the impact of this disease – not because they are the most likely victims but that in protecting the elderly their aspirations have been shattered. It just isn’t right.
“All student loans should from now become interest free.
“Third, stop indefinite land-banking by house builders and get houses built.
“Planning permission should be contingent on a start date within six months. There’s also a completion date requirement and no shoddy finishes. Miss these dates and pay a fine. A large one. Miss the start twice and reapply. Miss completion and there’s a weekly charge. A large one.
“There’s an old saying ‘Never waste a good crisis’.