Thursday, 14 April 2011

Just why the New Homes Bonus is unfair

In two tier areas where a District Council operates with a County Council, 20% of the new homes bonus payment goes to the County Council with 80% going to the planning authority which is the local District Council.

This table matches political control at each County Council in 2005, an average year which reflects historic trends, with the amount paid from the New Homes Bonus scheme per head of population in each County.

Three of the four Labour authorities make up 3 of the 5 top positions and Nottinghamshire is 9th out of 27. Cumbria and Warwickshire, both with deprivation problems and which have strong Labour support make up the other 2 positions in the top 5.

By contrast Conservative areas received twice or three times as much on average. Furthermore the fact that District Council's in those areas collect the other 80% at the same rate highlights the unfairness of the scheme. A scheme that is funded by taking money away from Council's to give it back to those areas which build the most homes.

The unfairness means that County Council services in those areas where County Council's have to contribute to the 'NHB pot', are drawing down the least - Lancashire gets 39p per head whilst leafy Cambridgeshire receives £1.27. Services in these areas are under the greatest pressure and are the areas of greatest multiple deprivation.

Clearly the NHB is taking money from the North than the South to fund the scheme through the Barnett formula and secondly handing more of the funding out to the South.

This is an unfair scheme that will have serious funding implications to deprived communities.

County Party in Control 
NHB per
head of Pop.
Cumbria No Overall Control
Lancashire Labour
Derbyshire Labour
Warwickshire No Overall Control
Staffordshire Labour
Surrey Conservative
North Yorkshire Conservative
Dorset Conservative
Nottinghamshire Labour
Hertfordshire Conservative
Essex Conservative
East Sussex Conservative
West Sussex Conservative
Oxfordshire Conservative
Worcestershire Conservative
Hampshire Conservative
Suffolk Conservative
Leicestershire Conservative
Devon LibDem
Buckinghamshire Conservative
Norfolk Conservative
Northamptonshire Conservative
Kent Conservative
Gloucestershire Conservative
Somerset LibDem
Lincolnshire Conservative
Cambridgeshire Conservative