I welcome the Prime Minister’s speech setting out his clear vision to tackle the cost of living, including his commitment to get more people onto the property ladder – decreasing the huge amount of money spent on renting and affording more people the security of their own home. Between 2005 and 2016, the proportion of 25- to 34-year-olds who owned their own home fell by 20 per cent. Yet the dream of home ownership unites 87 per cent of the country. Strong progress on housing supply has been made in recent years: over 2 million additional homes have been delivered since April 2010. From April 2019 to March 2020 over 242,000 homes were delivered – the highest level for over 30 years. We will work with communities across England to build the right homes in the right places, using publicly owned brownfield land, and supporting small self-build and custom-build sites, including through reusing agricultural buildings.
First time buyers and key workers will be given priority access to these news homes, with the first comprehensive review in a decade also set to examine reforms to the mortgage market. The review will consider how industry and government can better support prospective first-time buyers to save for the deposit they need and access low-cost, low-deposit mortgages – it will deliver recommendations in autumn 2022. There is more to do on housing, and I look forward to further measures on second homes and buy to let in the new Planning and Regeneration Bill which is going through the House of Commons. Many of my rural colleagues and I are working closely on shaping this new piece of legislation - a once in a generation opportunity to get Cornwall’s housing policy right.
NHS patients in England will have early access to potentially life-saving and cutting-edge treatments thanks to a new fund which has now launched. Up to £340 million has been made available through the Innovative Medicines Fund to purchase the most promising medicines and fast-track them to patients to give adults and children the best chances of survival, recovery or a healthier, longer life. The fund, which meets a manifesto commitment, will further support NHS England in offering patients potentially transformative new drugs while further real-world evidence is collected to inform a final decision by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on whether the treatment is clinically cost-effective and a good use of taxpayer money in the long-term, reducing delays and boosting patient outcomes in the interim. Examples of previous medicines which patients have accessed in a similar way through managed access agreements include a treatment for children with spinal muscular atrophy and a treatment to slow the progression of a life-limiting metabolic disorder.