Alok Sharma - Appointed New Housing Minister

He has no background in housing

Sharma is a chartered accountant and had previously worked in corporate finance before going into politics. Since becoming a member of parliament he has been on the Treasury select committee and the science and technology select committee. He was previously the prime minister’s infrastructure envoy to India.

He won his seat by against odds, but with a reduced margin After the shock poll predicting no overall majority for the Conservatives last week, both seats in Reading were predicted to be lost. Sharma held onto his seat in Reading West by just 2,876 votes - almost a third of his previous majority of 6,650

Sharma is from the local area and went to school in Reading Sharma grew up in Reading and the surrounding areas. He attended the private Reading Blue Coat School, which charges fees of more than £15,000 a year. On winning his seat again, Sharma wrote on his website, “Having grown up locally in Reading and being very much a local Reading man, I am delighted to have been re-elected for a constituency in my home town.” He keeps the combined portfolio of housing and planning These two portfolios have only been combined since 2014. Under the combined portfolio, Sharma is responsible for housing and home ownership policy, as well as the planning policy which underpins it. Other important parts of the portfolio including estates regeneration and regulation of the private rented sector.

He has consistently voted in favour of cuts to housing-related benefits. Sharma has voted consistently in favour of benefit cuts that affect housing. He has voted to reduce welfare spending 49 times, and has consistently voted in favour of the bedroom tax, which cut the amount of housing benefit people could receive if they had an unoccupied room in their property. He has also voted in favour of local councils removing council tax concessions for those in financial need.

This article first appeared in the Guardian - 14 June 2017

News / BlogAlex Evans