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Reshuffle casts doubt over political will on housing

Do either of the two main political parties have a real commitment to increase the number of homes we build?

First of all Labour announces at its party conference a disappointing ‘plan’ to increase the number of homes built to 200,000 a year by 2020, which is, upon closer inspection, not a plan at all, just a target - and not a terribly stretching target at that.

Then this week prime minister David Cameron sacks housing minister Mark Prisk after little over a year in the job, and downgrades the portfolio’s importance by giving it to a new junior minister.

Labour, at this point, goes the other way, inviting its shadow housing minister to attend shadow cabinet - but also replacing incumbent Jack Dromey, who has years of housing experience, with a newcomer to housing.

It is in everyone’s interests to increase housebuilding to a level that meets demand, while creating jobs and construction activity. Messrs Prisk and Dromey will be missed. Kris Hopkins and Emma Reynolds will need to get up to speed extremely quickly.

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