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The Money Isn't Going To The Tenants, It's Going To The Landlords

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I never understood the "right" to buy.

It was really the same as the "right" to a pension....like the Post Office one....sold to Government, who, now has cash, but needs another pension to sell next year....

meanwhile, there are still pensioners to be paid, like there are deserving Council tenants on the waiting lists.

Right to buy was simply a funding for deficit exercise.

One of Maggies mistakes....just shows how the vote was as important to her thinking as it was to the current crop of *****ers.

The money came in handy at the time, sure.......nobody knew at the time that the price of housing would exponentially rise as it did over the following years.....

Votes will always be important, did the council house buyers change their vote? ;)

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FFS, it's almost as if champagne socialists have some form of amnesia which lasted from 1997 to 2010 and have forgotten they were actually in power for 3 terms with large majorities! 13 years and they could have done whatever they wanted but no, let's still blame a prime minister who was in power for 11 years from 1979 to 1990. What's the equivalent of Godwin's Law when it comes to Thatcher?

Good point. You will never change the opinion of some people that Thatcher and the Tories are to blame for everything. I know someone who constantly bangs on about the 'Tory government' and 'rich Tory toffs' with seemingly no understanding that 1. many of the current problems were in part caused by Labour and 2. we don't have a 'Tory' government, it is a coalition. The 'Tories bad/Labour good' idea is just a pantomime for the politically ignorant.

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I have an idea it was more social than economic. Council tenants had become ever more notorious for neglecting and trashing their places, and maintenance costs were often higher than rents. That is, if maintenance to the minimum standards (like, a loo you can flush without it all coming back up) took place at all. A vicious circle: if the estate is like that, why bother? People who bought were motivated to do better, and indeed many of them did, so that now many ex-council places are good homes (especially where councils were the only developers who could afford to 'waste' land giving 3-bed semis a decent area of green around rather than build more houses).

No it was not. The idea was entirely political. It was reasoned that home owners were more likely to vote conservative than 'socialistic' council tenants.

As an added bonus the income from the sales could be used to fund electoral bribes.

Edited by alexw

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No it was not. The idea was entirely political. It was reasoned that home owners were more likely to vote conservative than 'socialistic' council tenants.

....Some very wealthy multiple home owners I know read the guardian. ;)

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Especially as Right To Buy existed before Thatcher! It might not have been called that then, but it was certainly possible to buy council houses before 1979 as my grandma bought here "corporation house."

Indeed right to acquire council property was part of Labours manifesto in .....1959! :lol:

7000 Council houses were sold in 1970.

It was Horace Cutler at the GLC in 1977, adapting a more free market approach which probably influenced Thatcher and the direction of Council House sales.

The slight flaw in this argument was that 7000 were sold. A tiny fraction of the total. In the thatcher years 100,000-200,000 were sold per year.

Edited by alexw

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The slight flaw in this argument was that 7000 were sold. A tiny fraction of the total. In the thatcher years 100,000-200,000 were sold per year.

I wonder how relevant that is. I note it's often implied that "Thatcher sold council houses, so there isn't enough of them". But if she didn't, I don't see how that would have been better for the people on the waiting list. The sold properties would still largely be occupied by those who bought them, or maybe their descendants. I don't see that a non-trivial proportion of the properties would be available to others anytime soon?

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About the only thing you can really blame Thatcher for is the failure to factor in unforeseen consequences. She didn't realise that 'right to buy' in theory turned in to 'right to BTL' in practice. Her vision was of a nation of independent, self-sufficient OOs (probably shaped by her upbringing as the daughter of a small business owner), not of a new generation of Rachmans and Van Hoogstraatens blighting most people's ability to do so.

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Good point. You will never change the opinion of some people that Thatcher and the Tories are to blame for everything. I know someone who constantly bangs on about the 'Tory government' and 'rich Tory toffs' with seemingly no understanding that 1. many of the current problems were in part caused by Labour and 2. we don't have a 'Tory' government, it is a coalition. The 'Tories bad/Labour good' idea is just a pantomime for the politically ignorant.

There never was a 'Labour' - the party was/is a trick

It was founded/funded by The Fabian Society

- Motto "To protect Capitalism from the poor" with a wolf in sheep clothing avatar

Trouble is we are stuck with satanic, corrupted, "Crony Capitalism" bent, bought out Politicians colluding with big business in favour of the 1% against the rest of the population whilst they impoverish larger and larger percentage.

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I wonder how relevant that is. I note it's often implied that "Thatcher sold council houses, so there isn't enough of them". But if she didn't, I don't see how that would have been better for the people on the waiting list. The sold properties would still largely be occupied by those who bought them, or maybe their descendants. I don't see that a non-trivial proportion of the properties would be available to others anytime soon?

The argument isn't against her selling them.

The argument is against her using the proceeds from the sales for short term tax cuts and not reinvesting it in new social housing stock.

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Good point. You will never change the opinion of some people that Thatcher and the Tories are to blame for everything. I know someone who constantly bangs on about the 'Tory government' and 'rich Tory toffs' with seemingly no understanding that 1. many of the current problems were in part caused by Labour and 2. we don't have a 'Tory' government, it is a coalition. The 'Tories bad/Labour good' idea is just a pantomime for the politically ignorant.

Valid. Expect:

3) many of the current problems were caused by the Tories and it's as rare to find a Tory bright and brave enough to admit that, as it is easy to find the type of folk you highlight in your first point.

4) Thank christ we don't have a full Tory government based on the circus so far. The coalition has been far more beneficial for them than it has been for the Lib Dems, with just about any bad 'coalition' policy attributed to Clegg.

Edited by byron78

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if the Tories selling off the housing stock was so bad, why didn't labour build a load more during its 10 odd years in power ?

The most charitable answer to that question possible is that Blair, like Thatcher, believed that owner-occupation is fundamentally a good thing: that if you own your home, you have a stake in your community, an incentive to be a productive taxpayer, support your neighbours, etc. etc. However, like Thatcher, the method he chose to promote it was fundamentally flawed. Maggie did it by selling council houses to their occupants, whereas Labour did it by manipulating the economy to produce cheap consumer credit (Northern Rock's 125% mortgages, etc.), thereby inviting BTL-ers to the party en masse. Once again, we return to the same unintended consequence: BTL.

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The argument isn't against her selling them.

The argument is against her using the proceeds from the sales for short term tax cuts and not reinvesting it in new social housing stock.

How would that work then? There is an essentially unbounded demand for council housing with waiting lists stretching decades. The money to build it needs to come from somewhere, and it won't be entirely from the people you sell the new housing to because that raises less than the costs. It especially won't be from rent income.

No government can afford to hand out 10s of thousands of pounds to everyone who asks, hence they need to stop somewhere. I don't really see why not stop before even starting. RTB is fundamentally about asking the occupants who would otherwise not leave for a generation or two to return a proportion of the gift they were given by the taxpayer in exchange for getting a completely unrestricted ownership. This is as opposed to just some decades or maybe a century of cheap use. It only makes sense as a way for the taxpayer to cut their losses after unnecessarily gifting heavily subsidized long-term accommodation to someone who only needed it temporarily if at all.

As others have pointed out, RTB is also rather useful as far a pre-election bribes go. But at least it involves bribing people with money that has already been given to them. If they "reinvested" the proceeds only to sell the newly built housing too, that would probably be more popular still. But it would also bankrupt the country before very long.

So we have now moved from "she was evil to sell" to "she was evil not to throw taxpayers money at people who got by anyway"?

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if the Tories selling off the housing stock was so bad, why didn't labour build a load more during its 10 odd years in power ?

Or it continue to dismally fail to meet its own building targets ?

Labour would have been bl**dy stupid to invest in new council houses knowing what the Tories would do when they got back into power.

Tell you what why don't you spend £100,000 on building a new house and in five years time I will sell it for £40,000 and put the money into my back pocket.

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Labour would have been bl**dy stupid to invest in new council houses knowing what the Tories would do when they got back into power.

Oh, that's why they bankrupted country then. I always wondered why that was. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/may/17/liam-byrne-note-successor

Tell you what why don't you spend £100,000 on building a new house and in five years time I will sell it for £40,000 and put the money into my back pocket.

Nobody put the money into a back pocket. It just went into the same pot that everyone's taxes go into.

But maybe you want to spend £300000 on a building and let me live there for £120 a week? Just for two generations will do fine. Deal?

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Personally I still don't believe councils should be allowed to go anywhere near building, providing and running houses.

We did see terrible housing estates going up in a quasi socialist utopia which quickly turned to unmanageable and lawless estates in many places.

Corrupt local councils bought votes by keeping rents artificially low and the Treasury wouldn't let them spend money from the general rate on maintaining them so they gradually fell apart too. And given many were very poorly built with contracts given out corruptly, much of the newer social housing stock is earmaked for demolition.

The problem with the private sector is that of rentierism - profiteering from artificially (planning) and physically (nature of land geometry) created shortages that enables them to suck up all incomes from a proximate locality.

Monetary inflation is the other problem as that too both creates 'shortages' in terms of affordability for buyers and the largely unrecognised problem in that rents are highly correlated to house prices...so if you have a programme of raising house prices (take a bow Osborne), then you will be raising rents too and effecting a massive transfer of wealth from many renters to fewer landlords.

What to do then? Basically I would launch an entire build to rent mutual housing programme whose aim would be to increase both the quality and the quantity of housing stock. A return would paid to investors - including 'depositors' who would go to the front of the queue for homes. We could call them the 'real building society' movement. Homes for rent would have tenancy agreements suitable for familiies and a right to buy at market rates after a qualifying period. All profits would be retained by the mutuals.I think you would find after a while that they would push the private blood suckers out.

With a good building society mutual, they wouldn't need to rent. Such organizations did very well at helping people buy their own places in the past, likely against a stronger land owning class head wind.

Planning issues not withstanding, ofc

Edited by Traktion

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How would that work then? There is an essentially unbounded demand for council housing with waiting lists stretching decades. The money to build it needs to come from somewhere, and it won't be entirely from the people you sell the new housing to because that raises less than the costs. It especially won't be from rent income.

No government can afford to hand out 10s of thousands of pounds to everyone who asks, hence they need to stop somewhere. I don't really see why not stop before even starting. RTB is fundamentally about asking the occupants who would otherwise not leave for a generation or two to return a proportion of the gift they were given by the taxpayer in exchange for getting a completely unrestricted ownership. This is as opposed to just some decades or maybe a century of cheap use. It only makes sense as a way for the taxpayer to cut their losses after unnecessarily gifting heavily subsidized long-term accommodation to someone who only needed it temporarily if at all.

As others have pointed out, RTB is also rather useful as far a pre-election bribes go. But at least it involves bribing people with money that has already been given to them. If they "reinvested" the proceeds only to sell the newly built housing too, that would probably be more popular still. But it would also bankrupt the country before very long.

So we have now moved from "she was evil to sell" to "she was evil not to throw taxpayers money at people who got by anyway"?

You are a complete bullshister

The Govt just blew £140 Billion keeping house prices stratospheric & keep bankers solvent

- with money we don't have!

After the war British Govts borrowed cash to build millions of council houses as the country was broke and in debt to Yank zionists to pay off warloans.

The exact year we paid off the last WW2 installment Brown went on his destructive warpath to destroy the NHS, welfare state, wreck the UK etc etc

Don't think I missed that either :P

Edited by erranta

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Oh, that's why they bankrupted country then. I always wondered why that was. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/may/17/liam-byrne-note-successor

Nobody put the money into a back pocket. It just went into the same pot that everyone's taxes go into.

But maybe you want to spend £300000 on a building and let me live there for £120 a week? Just for two generations will do fine. Deal?

I don't think we have had a good government in 30 years maybe longer.

Free market capitalism sounds ok but that would involve people living on the street with no food. so we do need welfare.

I don't think it is right for private landlords and private banks to benefit from welfare. The government can borrow money at 2% If they borrowed a few billion and built more council houses I believe this would cut the welfare bill. and as a tax payer I would be happier if it were done this way. But it would require long term investment not a five year wonder. Governments only seem to care about five years.

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I never understood the "right" to buy.

"Right to buy" is classic deficit spending - extracting cash from council property today via a massive subsidy to buyers with no plan for

funding the future housing stock for those on low incomes. Goodies for today's voters while letting future generations (us) pay the bill.

Well this was done 2 and a half decades ago and it is now time to pay. B)

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The government can borrow money at 2% If they borrowed a few billion and built more council houses I believe this would cut the welfare bill.

That's not quite right. The government decide what the long term interest rate should be, then print enough money to make it so. Or they would if the BoE wasn't entirely independent. But that somehow doesn't seem to be much of an obstacle. The problem is that if they print enough to build a house for everyone, things will resemble Harare before very long at all.

In any case, a few billion won't cut it. The housing benefit is some £20bn pa, so an investment sufficient to provide enough housing to generate that much in saved rent would be pushing a trillion. That sort of borrowing would make the Greeks look like pathetic amateurs when it comes to going bankrupt in style.

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if the Tories selling off the housing stock was so bad, why didn't labour build a load more during its 10 odd years in power ?

Pretty obvious but seeing as you asked:

Because as soon as the Tories got back in they would have just sold them?

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winkie[/color]' timestamp='1365362597' post='909298763']

You don't miss a trick. :rolleyes:

"HOODWINK. A symbol of the secrecy, silence, and darkness in which the mysteries of our art should be preserved from the unhallowed gaze of the profane."

But it is more certain that there is in the hoodwink a representation of the mystical darkness which always preceded the rites of the ancient initiations.

What a C-ard

Masonic 'rhetor-ic'

Brownian "Prudence" etc

BrNWOn

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"Right to buy" is classic deficit spending - extracting cash from council property today via a massive subsidy to buyers with no plan for

funding the future housing stock for those on low incomes. Goodies for today's voters while letting future generations (us) pay the bill.

Well this was done 2 and a half decades ago and it is now time to pay. B)

It's also analogous to the spendthrift heir (Thatcher), blowing the inherited family wealth on an extravagant lifestyle (tax cuts, various other electoral bribes), instead of living off of the long term but low level income that that wealth would normally generate.

Thinking about it that analogy also applies to the utility sell offs, and north sea oil revenue.

The current boomers thought it was a great idea at the time, Well now we are all paying for it. May Thatcher rot in hell for this.

Edited by alexw

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It's also analogous to the spendthrift heir (Thatcher), blowing the inherited family wealth on an extravagant lifestyle (tax cuts, various other electoral bribes), instead of living off of the long term but low level income that that wealth would normally generate.

So you're saying Thatcher is bad because she didn't privatise the NHS and slash benefit spending?

That's one I don't remember hearing from a lefty before.

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