Published: 09:42, 03 April 2018
A developer has called on the government to put greater taxes on housebuilders which have boosted their profits off the back of Help to Buy schemes.
Mark Quinn, chairman and chief executive of Canterbury-based Quinn Estates, said ministers should put heavier taxes on chief executives being paid multi-million pound sums.
He warned they "don't care" because they just chase their payout targets, which are often linked to profits rather than homes built.
He said getting tough on these bonuses may help address the nation's housing shortage.
At the turn of the year, Persimmon chief executive Jeff Fairburn insisted he deserved his £110m bonus because he had “worked very hard” to reinvigorate the housing market.
Mr Quinn, who has 11 active house building schemes across Kent, said Whitehall should be putting greater taxes on major housebuilders which have seen their profits boosted by the lucrative Help to Buy scheme.
The initiative was launched to support first-time buyers by giving a government loan towards a deposit, meaning buyers can save a smaller lump sum.
Many companies working across the county have reported growing profits in the last month, with many listing the Help to Buy as a contributing factor.
Mr Quinn said: "What I think is a disgrace is what housebuilders pay themselves on the back of Help to Buy.
"The profits they make on selling houses on Help to Buy should be taxed at a greater level than normal.
"People are paying themselves £100 million bonuses when they are not even risking their own money. It's ridiculous..." - Mark Quinn, Quinn Estates
"People are paying themselves £100 million bonuses when they are not even risking their own money. It's ridiculous. The government should tax it."
Mr Quinn also claimed the government is wrong to be focusing on measures which will penalise companies for sitting on land after receiving planning permission.
Ministers should shift their focus on helping "poorly resourced" planning departments, he said.
In February, figures from the Local Government Association showed more than 423,000 homes were given planning permission in England and Wales in 2016/17 but have not been completed yet, up 15%.
Weeks later the Prime Minister told a conference: "I want to see planning permissions going to people who are actually going to build houses, not just sit on land and watch its value rise."
Mr Quinn said: "It's a bit of a fallacy. When a house builder buys land they have got to do something for their shareholders.
"None of our housebuilders have ever bought land and sat on it. We always feel they are in a rush.
"They have got to get a return on their money as quickly as possible.
"The problem is that fact councils are very poorly resourced. It's not their fault.
"Planning departments are over-worked and over-stretched which means the average time for a plan to be determined is over a year.
"That creates a lag between the planning application and boots on the ground."