1. ITV Report

Chancellor pledges measures to fix housing market with 300,000 new homes per year

Philip Hammond is set to unveil measures aimed at easing the housing crisis. Credit: PA

The Chancellor has pledged action to ease the housing crisis by getting 300,000 homes built every year.

Philip Hammond is set to unveil measures to boost building projects in his November budget next week.

He said that action must be taken "so the next generation can enjoy the same kind of opportunities their parents did".

"For too many years we’ve been building to few homes and we haven’t been building them in the right places to address where the real crunch points of affordability are," he told the Peston on Sunday show.

"We’ve got to build more and I think most experts agree we need to get up around the 300,000 a year level on a sustainable basis across the cycle to start tackling the challenge of affordability."

The target figures would be a substantial increase on the 217,000 homes built in the last year.

Mr Hammond promised the Government would do "whatever it takes" to get homes built, including underwriting loans to small house builders if necessary, in an interview with the Sunday Times.

He also told Peston on Sunday that the Government is keen to target some 270,000 sites where planning permission has been granted but no work has yet taken place.

He said the Government could provide infrastructure if it would help make building projects viable.

Mr Hammond said the Government would intervene to get housing projects moving. Credit: PA

The policy comes after Theresa May pledged to take "personal charge" for government plans to fix the UK’s “broken” housing market.

Another eye-catching pledge in the budget is a green light for tests on self-driving cars within years, prompting a response from Jeremy Clarkson who says the technology is not yet safe.

Mr Hammond's plans were attacked by the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, who said many in the UK were suffering a drop in living standards.

"We’ve had people whose wages have been cut by 10%, nurses for example…one and a quarter million food parcels handed out in the sixth richest country in the world," he told the Andrew Marr show.

"That’s what I call a recession for large numbers of people.

"And at the same time, this government is giving out tax cuts to the super-rich and corporation.That the difference that we have, the grotesque inequality in our society."

The budget will also give a boost for driverless cars. Credit: PA

Mr Hammond also stumbled into a gaffe when he said "there are no unemployed people" on the Andrew Marr show.

He later clarified that he was trying to make the point that technological change had not resulted in millions of people being long-term unemployed.

But Labour were quick to jump on the remark claiming it revealed how the Chancellor had "lost a grip on reality".