The UK Independence Party (UKIP) would axe plans for an HS2 rail link and offer developers five-figure sums for each home they build on brownfield land, its manifesto reveals
According to the party, the high speed north-south rail project was a ‘white elephant’ that would ‘blight thousands of homes and wreak irreparable environmental damage’ across England. The document reads: ‘It must face the axe.’
Nigel Farage’s party also outlines several measures to take the sting out of the coalition’s more controversial social security changes and curb foreign nationals access to public services.
HS2 must face the axe
The party would exempt the first £250,000 of new homes on brownfield land from stamp duty.
It would charge the Environment Agency with compiling a ‘national brownfield sites register’ and provide advice on how to prepare them for housing.
UKIP would also reward councils with an enhanced ‘new homes bonus’ for properties built on brownfield land.
‘We will take steps to remove the barriers to brownfield builds with the aim of building 1m homes on brownfield sites by 2025 to address the current housing shortage,’ it says.
In the section of welfare, UKIP says it would scrap the ‘bedroom tax’ that tailors housing benefit payments according to household rather than property size. The party would also allow tenants to pay the benefit directly to their landlord.
Both these policies have attracted much criticism, after their introduction by the coalition.
UKIP’s manifesto also includes policies aimed at improving the lot of people who become homeless but suggests those who can prove ‘local connections’ should be at the front of the queue for help.
‘We will establish a national homeless register to make it easier for those of no fixed abode to claim welfare entitlements,’ it adds.
‘Pressure on social housing waiting lists [will be relived] by preventing foreign nationals from obtaining access to social housing until they have lived here and paid UK tax and national insurance for a minimum of five years.’