Chancellor reveals Budget
The chancellor George Osborne has delivered his Budget, confirming several of the housing initiatives flagged up by the government in recent weeks.

Osborne confirmed the introduction of the Help to Buy ISA and the introduction of Right to Buy for housing association tenants, and said more planning reforms will be announced on Friday.

He said that mortgage interest relief for buy to let mortgages will be limited to the basic rate, and confirmed changes to inheritance tax threshold with married couples able to pass on £1 million free of inheritance tax by 2017.

There will be a new compulsory national living wage to come into force in April 2016 and National Insurance contributions are being cut for SMEs.

Osborne said it was “a national shame” that apprenticeships were underfunded, and said he is introducing an apprenticeship levy on all large firms.

Osborne said that an agreement has been reached with the ten councils of Greater Manchester which will see a land commission set up in the city. Devolution deals are planned with Sheffield, Liverpool, Leeds and west Yorkshire.

Osborne said that housing association tenants who earn more than £30,000 or £40,000 in London will be required to pay rent up to the market rate, but rents in the social housing sector will be reduced by 1% a year for the next four years.