UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has put together a massive public investment program that includes building up to one million homes across Britain, new policy papers show.
According to a set of new policy papers released by Corbyn’s campaign on Saturday, a future UK government run by the opposition leader would borrow £15 billion a year to build the houses, half of which are said to be council homes.
The program would be implemented during a five-year parliament and seeks to provide housing tenants with new safeguards such as secure three-year contracts.
Protection from “unreasonable rent increases” was another objective that the papers said Corbyn was seeking to accomplish.
The housing plan is part of a £500 billion public investment that Corbyn’s team describes as “highly efficient.”
The veteran politician’s campaign said the huge government borrowing program was going to be a good deal for taxpayers as it benefitted the economy from construction, job creation and rental income.
With “government borrowing rates the lowest ever, this is the most cost-effective way possible to meet Britain’s housing needs. Since the government will be acquiring assets, the taxpayer can expect to make a net gain as rents are paid on the new housing,” the papers added.
The policies were announced at a time when Corbyn is fighting former BBC producer Owen Smith to retain his throne as the party leader.
Corbyn’s housing plans seem more credible and detailed than what Smith had put forward during a speech in late July, where he simply said he will “free up councils across the country to borrow to build.”
During a speech on Friday, Smith pledged to build 50,000 homes a year for would-be first-time buyers under age 30. The homes, he said, would be rented at lower than market rent.
The opposition leader’s opponents challenged his leadership for what they call inadequate efforts to keep the UK in the European Union (EU) during a referendum on June 23.
He has until September 21 to appeal to voters and defeat Smith. The results will be announced in a Liverpool conference three days later.