Magazine article Public Finance

Housing Associations Must Make Efficiency a Habit, Says Treasury

Magazine article Public Finance

Housing Associations Must Make Efficiency a Habit, Says Treasury

Article excerpt

Housing will face an extremely tough Spending Review in 2006 unless it gets into the habit of making year-on-year efficiency gains, Simon Ridley, head of housing at the Treasury, told the National Housing Federation's finance conference.

He said last year's surprisingly generous settlement, worth 4.1% in real terms over three years, was possible only because the Treasury insisted on councils and housing associations saving £835m by 2007/08.

The 2006 review would be even tighter because ministers were committed to increased spending on health and education, he reminded delegates at the conference, which was held at the University of Warwick on March 16-18.

Speaking on the day that Chancellor Gordon Brown delivered his Budget speech, Ridley said the Treasury was keen to support housing investment but was seeking cost-effectiveness. 'The scope for growth will be even more limited,' he said. 'Housing is going to have to work hard to maintain the momentum that previous settlements have provided. …

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