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PRESCOTT WANTS RELAXED COUNCIL BORROWING REQUIREMENTS

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Deputy prime minister John Prescott is seeking chancellor Gordon Brown's approval for an ambitious new council hous...
Deputy prime minister John Prescott is seeking chancellor Gordon Brown's approval for an ambitious new council house building scheme, reports the Independent in an exclusive (p1).

Mr Prescott, secretary for environment and transport, wants to give councils the same freedom as housing associations to borrow money from private firms, using housing stock and rent flows as assets.

Although treasury officials are likely to protest that it will add to the public sector borrowing requirement, Mr Brown is sympathetic to the need for public/private partnerships.

The plan could provide enough money for 100,000 new houses a year Labour is also committed to the controlled release of capital receipts which could generate funds for 14,000 homes a year.
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