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irrationalactor

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Everything posted by irrationalactor

  1. I don't think that's true. Even Nigel Farage was saying we could be like Norway, who are in the single market. You can't know how many people voted Leave in the hope of an EEA-style relationship.
  2. The only ways to have kids in London are either to be eligible for social housing or to have rich parents drop six figures on you. Workers with decent jobs but no inheritance all hit their 30s and they either move out to the commuter belt or they give up and leave the country. Sharing like a student starts to wear very thin in your mid-30s. Commuting from somewhere just outside the M25 is the only solution but I wouldn't do it for the world - expensive and hours of your day down the drain. The problem is there always seems to be a new cohort of bright-eyed young interns eager to get on the treadmill behind those who fall off. London is a trap.
  3. Wasn't this thread about a think tank report on BTL tax relief? Diane Abbot didn't write it, right?
  4. It's government by slogan, except the slogans are all lies.
  5. Are campaigning for security of tenure and campaigning against landlords' tax breaks mutually exclusive? Tightening the tax code a little more is IMO much more likely to happen and will end up being more effective, anyway. A lot of pressure groups seem to think in terms of 'rights' - but the people with power seem to think in terms of 'assets'.
  6. Would it raise house prices 10k? Or would it raise them 50-100k? A 25 year old with a decent job and a 10k deposit in the bank goes to get a mortgage. That 10k leverages up to maybe 100k. A 25 year old with a decent job and a 10k deposit and a 10k handout has 20k in the bank. That 20k leverages up to a lot more than 110k. Our whole economy is now a total mess and this 'solution' is a another red herring. The government talks a good game about rewarding hard work but it's now absolutely clear that the game is rigged. Never mind all this free money everyone else will be getting - where's the wealth that I've been working for?
  7. 'Centrist' in the UK is pretty much a codeword for Blairism - far to the right of any post-war government before 1979, either Labour or Tory. I'd rather not have the threat of ID cards, 40 day detention, war, and such back again, thanks. Never mind the tax credits, the gold selloffs, the Buy-To-Let mortgages, the 'relaxed' attitude to oligarchs and non-doms, the light-touch regulation, the Pathfinder program, the missed inflation targets, the bailouts, and the massive boom in house prices. Never again. 'Centrism' is utterly dead. Might as well try a dose of post-war style public ownership and housebuilding, for a change.
  8. BTL mortgages should be banned straight up. They're assessed mostly on the rental income, paid by the tenant. Why not just lend the tenant the money to buy the house and cut out the middle man? If you want to be a landlord you should have to pay for the house outright.
  9. My parents are not me - I have no control over their success or lack of it. I myself wasn't able to read in 1980. Sounds like you've done well. But I really do think the windows of opportunity have been closed, now, and the Tories certainly won't be redressing the balance.
  10. This framing in terms of 'aspiration' vs 'envy' only works if everyone has the same life chances and if outcomes are generally fair. Then we could happily say that rich people earned their wealth and that poor people should have tried harder - indeed, that anyone could choose to buckle down and give it another go. I'm afraid the real world doesn't work like that. Wealth locks in privilege, not only for the generation that worked for it, but for successive generations too. No-one has control over who their parents are. Careers are so precarious, and the rat-race so blisteringly fast, that just one life upset - a breakup, a mid-life-crisis, a failed business venture, a period of ill health - and you'll never catch up. The old middle class of the 20th century is dead. We're almost all 'middle class' now - which means we must work (even very professional and high-stress jobs) to pay the rent and to enrich the bankers. It is not the 'politics of envy' to want to remake a system that currently works only for the very richest. The people that worked hard for their money should be just as angry at the parasites as the rest of us, because it's those at the very top who are risking it all for a few more % of the pie. They should have let a few more scraps fall from the table over the last 30 years. I 'aspire' to live in a fair society where I feel hope for the future and where my salary buys me the same amount of house my parents' salary bought them. The Tories have spent 8 years proving that they have zero intention of delivering that. While people give them the benefit of the doubt, I am rapidly running out of productive years. And finally, S24 is a very small fig-leaf covering a multitude of sins.
  11. Blair and Brown are gone. I'd personally like to see Brown apologise for what he did to house prices. But whoever's fault it was, it's clear the Tories aren't interested in fixing it - despite promising to before 2010. They've had eight years and the situation has gone from terrible to catastrophic.
  12. I bought a house a year or so ago and it made me miserable. As soon as I walked in the door with the keys I knew I had made a horrible mistake. I guess I have now technically 'sold to rent'. Just waiting for a bunch more 'first-time-buyer-only' schemes that I have now made myself ineligible for. I am still extremely angry about the housing situation in this country. Buying a house - or buying the wrong house - shouldn't take your entire savings since childhood plus your entire earnings to retirement (or beyond!). Buy a house and you're trapped working to pay the mortgage - who really has options in today's job market? - and on top of that you're responsible for the floor and the roof and for leaks. We have all been made slaves to the banks, in one way or another. And no, smug homeowners, you cannot use my anecdote as proof that millennials 'prefer to rent'. I would have preferred to pay the real-terms prices you paid, and then an imperfect house might have been okay. I prefer not to be a slave - but I think the only real escape these days is a lottery win. You certainly can't earn freedom on PAYE, any more. Good luck to everyone who has bought - I really do hope you'll have a great time in your house and that you can move on with your lives.
  13. Yes, if it's a loan the bank will take it into account when deciding how much you can afford to borrow. Parents shouldn't have to give their kids 90k to buy a house in the first place. How many years does it take a worker without rich parents to save 90k?
  14. David Davis did this over ID cards and 40 day detention and it cost him the Home Office. Is there no end to the things that Corbyn will be blamed for? Now he's supposedly responsible for Gordon Brown's housing policy and Tony Blair's warmongering?! It's ridiculous. How can anyone forget the endless Blairite coup attempts? The authors and supporters of those old policies hate him. The Establishment are terrified of Corbyn, and it's not because he's a Communist or because he's an idiot. It's because he is (in England and Wales at least) the only effective threat to the economic consensus that most of us on this site have spent a decade denouncing. Not since the death of John Smith has a real socialist been so close to the levers of power. Everyone moans about going back to the 70s but my mother doesn't regard the 70s - before Thatcher - all that badly. It was in the 70s that a lot of people bought their family homes. Go watch that video again and tell me that the Tories haven't taken New Labour's awful housing legacy and made it worse.
  15. Ten years ago I had hope for the future. I earned less than I do now, and had far less in the bank, but I was working with cool people trying to make something interesting and I thought "I'm doing the right thing, I got my qualifications, I'm building a career, I'm saving my money, in a few years I'll buy a flat and I'll have some security." Now it's very different. I'm sorry but it's not Facebook that has destroyed my optimism. It's the self-serving idiots in power intent on perpetuating a system that has enslaved almost everyone lacking a massive inheritance. All the referendums have gone the way of the establishment, cementing the power of the rich, tax-avoiding class. Even the last one is shaping up to be less a revolution and more an excuse for even more economic exploitation. And finally, even the Internet - my generation's last frontier of freedom now that every inch of every continent has been mapped - is getting regulated and turned into just another propaganda tool. Maybe it's just getting older, but I don't think so. I think the outlook is bleaker now than it was back then. I'm pretty sure that if I'd have been born twenty years earlier my original plan of "earn money and save a deposit and buy a flat and save a pension" would have actually been a viable option. Loads of people twenty years older than me did it and raised families and stuff quite successfully. I don't need Instagram to see that.
  16. I think anyone who can seriously compare Corbyn to Blair probably has a rather tenuous grasp of politics.
  17. So we should all blame our parents for their failings in not being millionaires and not being willing to fund our lifestyles? It is exactly this switch from an economy where there is the opportunity to make your own way in life to one where getting an inheritance is one of the only ways to house yourself properly that is the problem. It is not about being 'set for life'. It is about people now facing a standard of living much lower than they would have done had they been born just ten or twenty years earlier - thanks in great part to the savvy investors that you are applauding. I'm sorry but investment in property is not morally neutral, especially when you have become rich by monopolising an essential resource. I don't need to congratulate people who did the 'smart thing' and built property empires when their investment decisions have decimated my chances of housing myself decently. Real investment is supposed to increase competition and increase the standard of living, as you meet demand and create something new. Getting rich from property hoarding and speculation is not the same thing at all.
  18. Homeowners don't just have 'paper' wealth. It's true that if you only own one house you can't sell without becoming homeless. But you don't have to pay rent.
  19. http://www.resolutionfoundation.org/data/housing/ Scroll down to the graph headed 'Housing tenure by age'. Look at the red line, representing the number of 25-34 year olds that own their own home. Notice how it's fallen off a cliff over the last two decades. Compare with the dark blue line, representing home owners age 65+. Now tell us the data doesn't support an increase in intergenerational inequality when it comes to housing wealth.
  20. It's not the fact that older people have more wealth (on average). It's that today's older people have more wealth than I will ever see (on average) no matter if I work just as hard and as skilfully as they did. It's the change in the stats that is the issue, not the obvious observation that people who've had more time (and opportunity) to accumulate assets probably have more assets. Plus where is the housing wealth coming from? You only realise your gains once someone younger than you borrows more money than you ever saw in your life to buy it off you.
  21. The coalition was IMO the least worst government we've had this century, at least to begin with. I am the leftest of left-wingers happy to pay more tax but I was considering voting Tory based on George Osborne's sorting out of the country's finances. And then he introduced Help to Buy and London house prices went off back into the stratosphere and every year the prospect of home ownership retreated by a monetary amount more than my entire gross wage. They couldn't even be proper nasty Tories when they needed to be - the tax credit cuts were abandoned, and Universal Credit is a complete disaster. I believe benefits for working people subsidise exploitative employers more than they benefit the worker themselves, but that we should have decent protections for the unemployed. But the rules - six week wait when you have no income?! - are just more ******** designed to drive people into the gutter. They said all the right things before they got in - how about 'money printing is the last resort of desperate governments'. But turns out 'austerity' was an illusion designed to further their privatisation agenda and push things like free schools and destroy social assets like libraries. No I will not be voting Tory. All I have to lose is my savings, which the Bank of England is doing a great job inflating away anyway.
  22. Disgusting. They should scrap Help to Buy the same way they scrapped Right to Buy. 'Offers over' might have meant that in the run up to 2008, but in my experience nowadays people rarely set a closing date for sealed bids. The seller usually takes the first offer that they're happy with, and once an offer's accepted that's pretty much it under the Scottish system - you have to act through a solicitor, and the solicitors won't countenance gazumping.
  23. Sounds great. It can be funded by putting the existing inheritance tax up to 100%. Everyone gets the same inheritance, everyone gets the same start in life. Nothing more meritocratic than that.
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