Buying your first house will become a little easier in the UK, as the government is set to announce new plans to lower house prices by 30%.
The government is set to announce later today new plans that could make it easier for first time buyers.
First revealed as part of the budget, the first time buyers discount is set to feature in the White Paper, and will save first time buyers tens of thousands of pounds.
The new First Homes that are set to be discounted will stay at a lower price for all future first-time owners.
Key workers such as nurses and police officers will also be given priority in the scheme.
The pilot of the scheme will contain 1,500 First Homes. Once the scheme is up and running 25% of an affordable homes development must be First Homes.
After the 30% discount is applied, the price will be capped across England at £250,000 and £420,00 in London. Similarly, those buying First Homes will be subject to a household income of £80,000 (or £90,000 in London).
A list of non-first-time buyers who are also eligible is yet to be confirmed.
For those who are after cashing in and selling on with a hefty profit in a few years, the government are putting a ‘restrictive covenant’ on the price. This means that ‘the original level of discount, are passed on to future purchasers’.
Many people are concerned that the plans will harm the environment and see Tories ditch a requirement for big developments to contribute to infrastructure around new developments. This, protesters say, could pile more pressure on cash-strapped councils.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick claims the major overhaul will speed up the house building process and ‘cut red tape but not standards’.
Jenrick added that the project will ‘protect green spaces’ while making it easier to build on ‘brownfield land’.
The planning system will propose three categories of land in the White Paper; earmarked for growth, renewal and protection. However, campaigners said this risks a ‘disconnected landscape, one in which wildlife continues to decline because nature doesn’t slot into neat little boxes’, according to the Mirror.
The plans are on going, and Jenrick says it takes seven years to agree local housing plans and five years before any work will begin.
He added: “These once-in-a-generation reforms will lay the foundations for a brighter future, providing more homes for young people and creating better quality neighbourhoods and homes across the country.
“We will cut red tape, but not standards, placing a higher regard on quality, design and the environment than ever before. Planning decisions will be simple and transparent, with local democracy at the heart of the process.
“As we face the economic effects of the pandemic, now is the time for decisive action and a clear plan for jobs and growth. Our reforms will create thousands of jobs, lessen the dominance of big builders in the system, providing a major boost for small building companies across the country.”
Tom Fyans, deputy chief executive of CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England), said: “The key acid test for the planning reforms is community involvement, and on first reading, it’s still not clear how this will work under a zoning system.”
Director of campaigning and policy at The Wildlife Trusts, Nikki Williams says ‘tree-lined streets’ are not enough.
She added: “Parks, green spaces and all the areas around our homes must be part of a wild network of nature-rich areas that will benefit bees and birds as much as it will enable people to connect with on-your-doorstep nature every single day.
“We live in one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world.
“Protecting isolated fragments of land is not enough to help wildlife recover nor will it put nature into people’s lives – something that is now recognised as vital for our health and wellbeing.”
The six big changes to lockdown Boris Johnson just announced in Parliament
Everything you need to know…
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has addressed the nation today to impose a curfew on England’s pubs and restaurants, plus other new updates to the current rules.
Mr Johnson addressed the House of Commons starting at 12:30pm, where he confirmed the latest updates.
The latest rules could be in place for six months, according to the Prime Minister, who warned people ‘not to be complacent’ as the virus poses a threat.
The new rules are being put in place due to the rate of Covid-19 spread, something Mr Johnson said is not just driven by more testing but also due to an increasing positivity rate.
He added that the Covid alert level increased to four yesterday, ‘so this is the moment when we must act’.
From Thursday evening pubs, bars and restaurants in England will be required to close by 10pm. They will also be required by law to only provide table service to help issues regarding social distancing.
Mr Johnson will be addressing the nation in a TV announcement at 8pm this evening.
The new updates from the House of Commons:
10pm curfew & table service only in hospitality venues
The curfew rules used in some areas which are in local lockdown are set to be rolled out across the country. This means all hospitality and leisure venues will be forced by law to close between 10pm and 5am, including pubs, bars, restaurants, bingo halls, cinemas and takeaways (which will be allowed to make deliveries but not to have customers in the takeaway).
There is also expected to be tougher enforcement for pubs and restaurants when customers are found breaking the rules. Mr Johnson said: “to help the police enforce this rule that means, alas, closing not just calling for last orders, because simplicity is paramount.” Last orders must be called at 9:30pm.
The hospitality industry will also be restricted by law to table service only from Thursday as well as the new curfew rules.
‘Back to work’ replaces ‘work from home’ with immediate effect
Brits have been urged to return to offices for the past few months, however, the message from the government has now shifted to work from home if and where you can.
Office workers are being asked to work from home but for those people who need to go to work they should continue to do so in a Covid-secure way.
Failing to wear a face covering or breaking the rule of six has previously resulted in a £100 fine, however this has now been doubled to £200.
Additionally, the £10,000 fines that were already in place for people who don’t quarantine will now be also applied to businesses.
The requirement to wear face coverings has now been extended to include retail staff, and all taxi users (including private hire vehicles) from Thursday. From Monday, all staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to drink or eat, must wear a face mask.
Follow Social Distancing
The Prime Minister is expected to continue to emphasize ‘hands, face, space’. Furthermore, the capacity on weddings, from Monday, has now been reduced to 15 people. 30 people can still attend a funeral.
The rule of six has now been extended to indoor adult team sports, although five-a-side football has been removed from this.
Delay to certain sectors re-opening
From October 1st, there is a further delay on opening indoor concert venues plus a halt on the trials of spectators returning to sport events.
Chester Zoo is hiring someone to look after the penguins
What a dream job!
Chester Zoo is currently hiring a keeper to join the bird team and look after penguins!
If you’re looking for your dream job of being outside and working with animals all day, this is just for you!
The ‘large and varied’ Bird Team at Chester Zoo are looking for a new candidate to help with the care and management of a few different birds.
You’ll get to work with Penguins, Parrots, Passerines, Pigeons and Cassowary (big old birds from Australia that look like ostriches).
The job isn’t just for anyone, unfortunately! You will need some bird-related qualifications.
You’ll need a HND or degree in a zoological related science or equivalent, plus proven experience in the ‘care and exhibition of birds in a zoological or bird collection’.
That’s not all though. They are also looking for someone with ‘excellent avicultural knowledge and experience of bird husbandry, diet and reproduction techniques’, as well as an ‘enthusiasm for and the understanding of modern zoos and the conservation challenges zoos face’.
Bonus skills include outstanding observation skills, attention to detail and ‘excellent verbal and writing communications skills’, and of course, proficient in IT.
If you ticked off all the necessities, you’ve got until noon, September 28th to apply.
The job is 40 hours a week and you’ll get paid £21,934.33 a year. There’s also an ‘excellent benefits package’, a pension scheme, 33 days paid holidays (including bank hols) which also increases over length of service.
If that wasn’t enough, you’ll also get free tickets to the zoo, free bus or train travel to and from work, from Chester and Ellesmere Port train stations, plus loads more perks.
If you fancy working with penguins everyday, apply here.
Government to introduce 10pm nightlife curfew and ask people to work from home again
Boris Johnson is set to announce today that people should work from home where they can and a curfew will force pubs, bars and restaurants to close by 10pm from Thursday.
New measures to tackle the surge in Covid-19 is to be announced today. Boris is expected to issue a statement in the House of Commons before a TV address to the nation this evening.
Michale Gove spoke to Sky News before the statement and said there would be a ‘shift in emphasis’ and ‘if it is possible people to work from home they should do so’.
He added: “They are reluctant steps we’re taking, but they’re absolutely necessary because as we were reminded yesterday and as you’ve been reporting, the rate of infection is increasing, the number of people going to hospital is increasing, therefore we need to act,”
The news not only puts a curfew on the hospitality industry but also restricts the industry, by law, to table service only.
The updates comes as the chief medical officers for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales raised the Covid-19 alert level from three to four.
Mr Johnson is expected to host a cabinet meeting this morning at 8:30am, where ministers will sign off the proposals.
Following that, he will chair an emergency COBRA committee of senior ministers and officials, plus Nicola Sturgeon, Mark Drakeford, Arlene Foster, Michelle O’Neill.
Mr Johnson will then issue a statement in the Commons at 12:30pm and then a Downing Street broadcast at 8pm.
The TV broadcast will be about ‘further ways we will confront the virus in line with the latest scientific advice, and the role everyone can continue to play in tackling the spread, including by following the social distancing guidance, wearing face coverings and washing hands regularly’, according to Number 10.
Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy spoke to Sky News: “If it takes the pressure off those people who have to go into the workplace, then I think it’s very welcome news.”
She added: “But I do hope the government comes forward with a much more comprehensive message later today.
“I think people are now really struggling to understand what it is they’re being asked to do and why.”
Downing Street confirmed Mr Johnson held meetings with scientific advisers, ministers and senior officials over the weekend. On Sunday, MR Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak held a summit to hear scientific views from across the spectrum.
Monday began with a briefing from Professor Whitty and Sir Patrick which explained that the number of coronavirus cases a currently doubling every seven days. They added that if this rate continued, this would be close to 50,000 cases a day by mid-October.
Matt Hancock explained that the response reflected a significant shift in the current threat posed by coronavirus: “This country now faces a tipping point in its response and it is vital everybody plays their part now to stop the spread of the virus and protect lives,”