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The Sunday Times 22.05.2016. Reproduced here with kind permission of the Sunday Times newspaper.


The publication of the new programme for government brought fewsurprises. It astonished nobody that two of its most significant components were ending the housing shortage and homelessness, and boosting jobs and rural development. The document weighs in at a hefty 155 pages, which averages out at 2.67 pages per government member and supporter. It seems as though every idea from every corner, no matter how unrealistic, was included to garner support. There were positives. It broadly identifies many pertinent issues, including the need for political leadership, tackling homelessness and promoting tenants’ rights. It aims to review building standards and says it will set targets for delivery (although it does not assign responsibility). It will maintain tax reliefs for landlords who accept social tenants.