Building Industry Will Have to Pay to Remove Dangerous Cladding, Says Gove

Tea

Michael Gove has said the government will take “every step necessary” to ensure that the building industry fixes the dangerous cladding blighting problem affecting thousands of leaseholders in medium-rise blocks.

Four-and-a-half years after exposing the cladding hazards from the Grenfell fire, the housing secretary said any lessee living in a block above 11 meters would not have to pay to fix dangerous problems.

He confirmed that he had received “absolute assurance” from Chancellor Rishi Sunak that he was ready to tax the region if he was not prepared to come forward with a solution.

“We will take action to end this scam and protect the lessees,” he said.

“We will pay the industry to fix all the remaining problems and help cover the costs faced by the leaseholders.

“Those who built the fuel cladding and insulation – many of which made huge profits even at the height of the pandemic – will now have to pay instead to the leaseholders.”

Mr Gove said that while he was seeking to convene a meeting with the industry to find an agreed way, he was “on them in law” to cover the estimated £4bn cost of tackling the issue. Were ready to implement a solution”.

We will take action to end this scam and protect the lessees

“We need additional backstops and it is clear that taxes can play (a part) if necessary. I don’t want to go there, but we have full assurance that we are aware of the possibility of taxation to bring people together.” can use,” he said.

“The fact that the (Treasury) chief secretary (Simon Clark) and the chancellor have authorized me to use the possibility of taxation shows that we are prepared to take every necessary step.”

However, the shadow housing secretary, Lisa Nandy, said a leaked letter from Mr Clarke showed he had warned that the decision to impose new taxes was “not given at this point”.

“It appears that what he has told the public — that the tax hike is the backstop — is not what he has told the Treasury,” she said.

“Whether the chancellor has agreed to support a new tax measure if negotiations fail or is prepared to raid funds for his own already allocated budget, leveling-up funding, or social or affordable funding ?”

Grenfell Tower (Jonathan Brady / PA) , PA Wire

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