Unison: New Homes Bonus Robbing North to Pay South

Observer  – Unison carried out similar research in 2011.

There are also complaints that the New Homes Bonus, under which local authorities all fund a bonus pot that rewards local authorities in whose areas new homes are built – is sucking money from the north as developers build more homes in the south because of the bigger demand and the higher prices that they command.

Analysis done by the public services union Unison shows that all the top 10 gainers from the scheme in cash terms were in the south while all top 10 net losers were in the north. The figures from the last year show Liverpool was a net loser from the bonus scheme by more than £2m while Basingstoke and Deane gained by £1m. Most of the councils gaining are Tory-run and those losing out are controlled by Labour.

Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, said: “It is grossly unfair that the government is using its New Homes Bonus scheme to shift scarce resources from the hard hit north to wealthier parts of the south. Over 60% of money is spread between London, the south-east, east of England and south-west. It cannot be a coincidence that the Tory heartland is where most money is being directed.”