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Boris Johnson promises thousands of houses for first-time buyers with 30% discount

Some good news…

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Boris Johnson has vowed ‘radical reforms’ to the country and has set aside £12bn – first announced in the budget – for funding for new homes. 

This morning the prime minister vowed to get the country back on track with a new deal which will see a programme of building and investment. 

Boris announced ‘the most radical reforms to our planning system since the Second World War’.

Alongside this programme, he has confirmed that the government will set aside £12 billion for the funding of new homes. This will support 180,000 new affordable homes for ownership and rent over the next eight years.

Included in that, is a new pilot of ‘First Homes’ that will provide a 30% discount to first time buyers.

The properties will be the exact same as others, but just sold to local first-time buyers who have been struggling to buy a home in the current market for 30% less.

The discount is said to be passed on to future buyers when First Homes are resold, to give more people the opportunity to get on the property ladder. 

The final design of the First Homes scheme is yet to be confirmed.

The PM said today: “We will build fantastic new homes on brownfields sites and other areas, with better transport and other infrastructure, that could be suitable and right for development.

“We will address that intergenerational injustice and help young people get people the housing ladder the way their parents and grandparents could.

“We will build better, we will build greener, and faster.”

In revealing the plan to help Britain ‘get back on its feet’, he said: “It is time not just for a new deal, but a fair deal for the British people.

“This government is determined to use this crisis finally to tackle this country’s unresolved challenges of the last three decades.

“We will build the homes, fix the NHS, solve social care, to tackle the skills crisis, to mend the indefensible gap in opportunity, productivity and connectivity between the regions of the UK. To unite, and level up.

“To that end, we will build, build, build. Build back better, build back greener, build back faster.”

He added: “This is a programme for jobs, jobs, jobs – because it’s by building, building, building… that we will get the jobs this nation needs.”

Boris Johnson has vowed to not return to the years of ‘what people call austerity’. He says: “the world has moved on since 2008”.

“We are preparing now – slowly, cautiously – to come out of hibernation. We cannot continue simply to be prisoners of this crisis”, he said.

The prime minister has warned of the rocky economic time ahead that will see job losses. 

Currently, 2.8 million people are unemployed in the UK and it’s predicted this number could rise by a further one million during the impending economic downturn. 

“We know in our hearts that the furloughing cannot go on forever,” he said.

“We also know that jobs people had in January are not coming back, at least not in that form,” the prime minister said. However, he refused to address how many jobs might be lost overall.

“I remain absolutely certain we need to make sure we keep the tax burden in so far as we possibly can is reasonable and we continue to be a competitive market economy,” he said.

“You know where my instincts are and what I would like to do, they are of course to cut taxes where ever you possibly can.

“The difficulty is we have a generational challenge now. We have to take our country forward.”

He also stressed that Britain needs to remain competitive as it leaves the EU stating: “You need to make sure as we leave the EU, the fiscal environment has to be as competitive as it possibly can be.

“I want brilliant British ideas being translated into brilliant British companies.”

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Meat Loaf has died aged 74

The singer’s agent confirmed the tragic news this morning

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QuotePark.com

Iconic singer and actor Meat Loaf has died at the age of seventy-four, his agent confirmed this morning.

A cause of death is yet to be announced.

The American musician – real name Marvin Lee Aday – reportedly died on January 20th with his wife Deborah by his side.

His family said in a statement: “Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight surrounded by his wife Deborah, daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends.

“His amazing career spanned 6 decades that saw him sell over 100 Million albums worldwide and star in over 65 movies, including Fight Club, Focus, Rocky Horror Picture Show and Wayne’s World.

The statement, which was posted today on his official Facebook page, also said: “Bat Out of Hell remains one of the top 10 selling albums of all time.

“We know how much he meant to so many of you and we truly appreciate all of the love and support as we move through this time of grief in losing such an inspiring artist and beautiful man.

“We thank you for your understanding of our need for privacy at this time.

“From his heart to your souls…don’t ever stop rocking!”

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Drivers and passengers face £1,000 fines for opening their door incorrectly under new Highway Code rule

Here’s everything you need to know…

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Markus Spiske / Unsplash

Drivers and passengers across the UK have been warned about a new Highway Code rule change that could land them with a hefty fine.

The new rule, which has been put in place to protect cyclists, will fine drivers and passengers as much as £1,000 if they open their car door incorrectly.

Instead of just opening the door, motorists will now need to adopt the ‘Dutch Reach’ technique, which involves you using the hand furthest from the door to open it – if you’re the one behind the wheel, you’d use your left hand, on the passenger side, you would use your right, just to clear it up a bit.

This technique has been proven to be safer because opening the door with the hand furthest away prompts a driver to turn their body towards the door, therefore giving them a look over their shoulder as they go to exit their vehicle.

@bezevision / Unsplash

This way, they will clock any cyclists or pedestrians approaching or passing by their car that they may have otherwise missed if they hadn’t have checked.

The new section under rule 239 will read: “Where you are able to do so, you should open the door using your hand on the opposite side to the door you are opening; for example, use your left hand to open a door on your right-hand side.

“This will make you turn your head to look over your shoulder. You are then more likely to avoid causing injury to cyclists or motor cyclists passing you on the road, or to people on the pavement.”

If someone injures a cyclist or pedestrian by opening their door without checking, they could face a fine of up to £1,000, though no penalty points can be added to the offender’s licence.

This comes as the Highway Code undergoes a number of rule changes in favour of pedestrians and cyclists; a new section under rule 186 states that road users will now be forced to give priority to cyclists on roundabouts.

Şahin Sezer Dinçer / Unsplash

The rule, expected to come into force from January 29th, states: “You should give priority to cyclists on the roundabout. They will be travelling more slowly than motorised traffic.

“Give them plenty of room and do not attempt to overtake them within their lane. Allow them to move across your path as they travel around the roundabout.”

The rule change will also require motorists to give way to cyclists and pedestrians at junctions, pedestrians waiting to cross the road into which or from they are turning, as well as pedestrians and cyclists on a parallel crossing.

The new rule has been introduced in an attempt to ensure that road users who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others.

You can read the new rules in full here.

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People who test positive for Covid in England won’t have to self-isolate soon

‘The self-isolation regulations expire on March 24th, at which point I very much expect not to renew them’

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UK Parliament / YouTube & Annie Spratt / Unsplash

The legal requirement to self-isolate after testing positive for Covid will by dropped ‘by March’, Boris Johnson has announced this week.

The Prime Minister told MPs during yesterday’s PMQs that the rule will be allowed to be lapsed when all Covid regulations expire on March 24th, adding that this date could even be brought forward to a closer date if a vote is passed.

Johnson told MPs: “As we return to Plan A, the House will know that some measures still remain, including those on self-isolation.

“On Monday we reduced the isolation period to five full days with two negative tests, and there will soon come a time when we can remove the legal requirement to self-isolate altogether, just as we don’t place legal obligations on people to isolate if they have flu.

“As Covid becomes endemic, we will need to replace legal requirements with advice and guidance, urging people with the virus to be careful and considerate of others.

“The self-isolation regulations expire on March 24th, at which point I very much expect not to renew them.”

Under the current guidance, those who test positive for Covid have to quarantine for at least five full days, so long as they test negative on a lateral flow test on days five and six.

Annie Spratt / Unsplash

Also at yesterday’s PMQs, the Prime Minister announced that restrictions on visits to care homes will be eased further, with Health Secretary Sajid Javid to begin setting out plans ‘in the coming days’. 

It was also confirmed that from Thursday January 27th, mandatory Covid passes will no longer be needed and people will not be asked to work from home where possible.

Johnson added that face masks will not be mandatory anywhere from this date, prompting loud cheers and shouts from the Tory back benches.

And from today, face masks are no longer required to be worn by students in classrooms. 

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