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George Osborne's Botch Job Has Left Housing In Crisis

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Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/greenpolitics/planning/10089428/George-Osbornes-botch-job-has-left-housing-in-crisis.html

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Home » Earth » Green Politics » Planning

George Osborne's botch job has left housing in crisis

The Help to Buy scheme is pointless without a coherent approach to planning

The political mood has turned against the development of affordable homes

By Isabel Hardman

(...)

George Osborne said that Help to Buy would meet “the most human of aspirations”, but right from the start, the scheme found few avid supporters, even in the Conservative Party. In recent weeks, those monitoring the UK economy have been lining up to criticise it, from the International Monetary Fund to the Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Governor of the Bank of England. When the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development joined the opposing team this week, Help to Buy started to look very lonely indeed.

Like the IMF, the OECD said the scheme would push up house prices, because insufficient numbers of new homes are being built.

(...)

But there’s no point in making it easier to buy if there’s nothing to buy. And though the Government could have responded to the wise words of the OECD and the IMF about a lack of supply, it isn’t going to. It seems its strategy for mortgage finance is too ambitious, while its strategy for planning reform isn’t ambitious enough.

(...)

The Treasury even succeeded in getting the talented Nick Boles into the Department for Communities and Local Government as what other ministers called “Osborne’s spy”. He wasn’t very covert, talking to various newspapers to argue for more housing. But since then, there has been precious little movement and not much more building.

The mood has changed, and the leadership feels hamstrung. It believes that to ask anything more from Conservative MPs – already under the cosh from grassroots members over unwanted development – would cause uproar. A recent Commons revolt on rather minor plans to wave through more extensions and conservatories convinced ministers to rewrite those proposals. It appears they wrongly read the row as a sign that Tory MPs had reached their limit over the liberalisation of the planning system; the real problem was that these reforms had very little to do with giving local people a say and more to do with sparking wars between neighbours. And all the while, Ukip is using local planning rows to hoover up Tory malcontents, which makes backbenchers even more nervous.

So the Downing Street consensus is that planning reform is dead this side of 2015. “At which point we can go back to the party and ask them for more, as they’ll see the need by then,” says one senior figure. This approach assumes, of course, that the Tories will be in government after 2015.

There are some tweaks ministers could do now, if they were feeling brave. They could remove those rules that prevent locals having a say, or encourage more self-build, which is the antidote to developers imposing their unattractive rabbit hutches on unsuspecting villagers.

But there’s no appetite for this. Which is a shame, because the political mood has turned against the development of more suitable, affordable homes not because Conservative voters oppose young families clambering on the housing ladder, but because it was a botch job from the off.

Instead of answering that most human of aspirations, the Government has offered a lesson in how to lose friends and alienate people.

And before boomers argue that we have enough houses, please see this chart below, with the UK average.

Percapita.gif

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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Still wondering where the second part of Help To Buy will go.

- Second steppers?

- Second homes?

- BTL?

- Foreigners?

It's all crazy and making Osborne look really stupid.

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Still wondering where the second part of Help To Buy will go.

- Second steppers?

- Second homes?

- BTL?

- Foreigners?

It's all crazy and making Osborne look really stupid.

I though this part was most interesting:

"The Treasury even succeeded in getting the talented Nick Boles into the Department for Communities and Local Government as what other ministers called 'Osborne’s spy' ".

I had noticed before that this new Minister, Nick Boles, was strongly in favour of new housing. But I didn't know that he was an Osborne's appointee.

Good and bad news here:

Good: Osborne gets it.

Bad: Not even Osborne is strong enough to overcome the NIMBY fecking "g(c?)rass roots" of the Tory party.

.

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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They want more housing, but higher prices. More housing because lobbyists like Barratts give them backhanders. Higher prices because they think thats what voters want. The ONLY way to achieve that is to force vast quantities of credit into the market. Trouble for them is it mostly seems to be going to BTL boomer types and not creating a new generation of property owners. The H2B scheme is vile because it is capped at such a stupidly high amount (£600k) with no strings attached. Isnt limited to new build, FTB or anything. Just money thrown at anything resembling a house. Fraud will be rife, mark my words.

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They want more housing, but higher prices. More housing because lobbyists like Barratts give them backhanders. Higher prices because they think thats what voters want. The ONLY way to achieve that is to force vast quantities of credit into the market. Trouble for them is it mostly seems to be going to BTL boomer types and not creating a new generation of property owners. The H2B scheme is vile because it is capped at such a stupidly high amount (£600k) with no strings attached. Isnt limited to new build, FTB or anything. Just money thrown at anything resembling a house. Fraud will be rife, mark my words.

You may be right, I'm not sure, but I still think Osborne wanted a higher number of new builds, to kick start the economy, but was unable to force it through, against the NIMBY lobby / press / boomers public opinion.

.

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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You may be right, I'm not sure, but I still think Osborne wanted a higher number of new builds, to kick start the economy, but was unable to force it through, against the NIMBY lobby / press / boomers public opinion.

.

Osborne might want that but boomer voters certainly don't, and it does not matter how 'attractive' the development is they oppose any and all development no matter its size or attractiveness. Greed and selfishness rule on this.

The problem for Osborne is that the very people who form the core of the conservative vote - older, wealthier home owners, who live outside of large cities - are those most vehemently opposed to building new homes.

I can only hope labour who rely on younger, poorer, city dwellers, for a substantial portion of their votes will build housing post 2015.

You can see this difference if you look at comments pages of guardian articles vs telegraph articles on house building. The telegraph comments are vehemently anti-building, while the guardian ones are on the whole slightly pro-house building.

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Osborne might want that but boomer voters certainly don't, and it does not matter how 'attractive' the development is they oppose any and all development no matter its size or attractiveness. Greed and selfishness rule on this.

The problem for Osborne is that the very people who form the core of the conservative vote - older, wealthier home owners, who live outside of large cities - are those most vehemently opposed to building new homes.

I can only hope labour who rely on younger, poorer, city dwellers, for a substantial portion of their votes will build housing post 2015.

You can see this difference if you look at comments pages of guardian articles vs telegraph articles on house building. The telegraph comments are vehemently anti-building, while the guardian ones are on the whole slightly pro-house building.

I think you are right about the Tories. But I am not as optimist about Labour, as they have the "green" opposition to building. At best Labour may go for high-density Council House building, ok, better than nothing, but ugly as hell.

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The next General Election is less than two years away. Rising house prices are a vote winner, falling prices are not. That's all you need to know. Short-term politics for short-term politicians and bugger the best interests of the electorate. And if Help to Buy takes off as it's expected to do, what then?

Once hundreds and thousands of people are suckered in via government guarantees and ultra low interest rates, how can the BoE ever raise them?

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The next General Election is less than two years away. Rising house prices are a vote winner, falling prices are not. That's all you need to know. Short-term politics for short-term politicians and bugger the best interests of the electorate. And if Help to Buy takes off as it's expected to do, what then?

Once hundreds and thousands of people are suckered in via government guarantees and ultra low interest rates, how can the BoE ever raise them?

Sure, rising prices are indeed a vote winner, I agree, but I think Osborne's calculation is that a growing economy would win even more votes. Problem is, most of his party can't see that.

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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Given that most people could not care less about the economy as long as they are OK then the Boy George will prefer rising house prices .... even if you lose your job there is SMI to fall back on so you can keep the house and reap the profit. One million unemployed young people ... sod em they would just waste money on iPads even if they had a job (that is not serious by the way...)

Bizarre that there's no money for training unemployed people but a private company can be paid £5k for a work placement (how much training would that buy?) Bizarre that people can get sanctioned for finding their own work placements or voluntary work in a field they're qualified or experienced in, yet get sanctioned again if they don't take up a post stacking supermarket shelves.

Anyone cynical might conclude that there's money to be made out of unemployment.

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Sure, rising prices are indeed a vote winner, I agree, but I think Osborne's calculation is that a growing economy would win even more votes. Problem is, most of his party can't see that.

Osborne is a career politician who sways like a reed in the wind. He favours the short-term sugar rush over the long well-planned haul. To be fair, he inherited a dire brief, but after some brief and bitter battles he "fell into the habit of jogtrottery, the great foe of improvement". He will be the most easily-forgotten of Chancellors.

Boles soldiers tenaciously on (http://www.policyexchange.org.uk/modevents/item/nick-boles-mp-housing-the-next-generation) but failed to receive the necessary political backing at higher levels at crucial moments, so will have to wander in the wilderness unless and until his fellow think-tanker Gove gains some measure of power.

All to play for, but I don't see any change in existing trends for the next couple of years.

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Given that most people could not care less about the economy as long as they are OK then the Boy George will prefer rising house prices .... even if you lose your job there is SMI to fall back on so you can keep the house and reap the profit. One million unemployed young people ... sod em they would just waste money on iPads even if they had a job (that is not serious by the way...)

There has been many other reports on the press about this split on the Tory party, with the economic leadership trying to liberalise planning but unable to overcome the political resistances to it.

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Osborne is a career politician who sways like a reed in the wind. He favours the short-term sugar rush over the long well-planned haul. To be fair, he inherited a dire brief, but after some brief and bitter battles he "fell into the habit of jogtrottery, the great foe of improvement". He will be the most easily-forgotten of Chancellors.

Boles soldiers tenaciously on (http://www.policyexchange.org.uk/modevents/item/nick-boles-mp-housing-the-next-generation) but failed to receive the necessary political backing at higher levels at crucial moments, so will have to wander in the wilderness unless and until his fellow think-tanker Gove gains some measure of power.

All to play for, but I don't see any change in existing trends for the next couple of years.

But this article informs us that it was Osborne who appointed Boles for that job.

Remember that the government has tried to liberalise planning, but got a bloody nose from the "protect the countryside" brigade (CPRE, NT, etc.), strongly supported by the Telegraph, Mail, and even the left media/BBC due to "green" concerns.

Not sure Gove would be able to win that one. The political problem is even deeper than party level, it goes down to the British voters fetish with the "green and pleasant land", and also their NIMBY resistances, and also local authorities preferring to spend their budgets on their own salaries and pensions than on infrastructure.

.

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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Tory rentier aristocracy landowners want higher land prices.

No sh1t (your Majesty)

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But this article informs us that it was Osborne who appointed Boles for that job.

Remember that the government has tried to liberalise planning, but got a bloody nose from the "protect the countryside" brigade (CPRE, NT, etc.), strongly supported by the Telegraph, Mail, and even the left media/BBC due to "green" concerns.

Not sure Gove would be able to win that one. The political problem is even deeper than party level, it goes down to the British voters fetish with the "green and pleasant land", and also their NIMBY resistances, and also local authorities preferring to spend their budgets on their own salaries and pensions that on infrastructure.

The Government needs to grow a pair.

Tell the Countryside brigade to go take a hike, and tell the people we need x thousand houses per year for the next 50 years, and MAKE IT LAW that planners actually plan this in as NO 1 priority.

oh, and halt immigration.

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The next General Election is less than two years away. Rising house prices are a vote winner, falling prices are not. That's all you need to know. Short-term politics for short-term politicians and bugger the best interests of the electorate. And if Help to Buy takes off as it's expected to do, what then?

Once hundreds and thousands of people are suckered in via government guarantees and ultra low interest rates, how can the BoE ever raise them?

John Major seemed to overcome a price correction. From 1989 - 1992, we had a plummet in house prices, and yet he won the GE. There are many factors to winning an election, and the weakness on immigration & EU and 'apparent' cuts will probably lose it for them.

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Bizarre that there's no money for training unemployed people but a private company can be paid £5k for a work placement (how much training would that buy?) Bizarre that people can get sanctioned for finding their own work placements or voluntary work in a field they're qualified or experienced in, yet get sanctioned again if they don't take up a post stacking supermarket shelves.

Anyone cynical might conclude that there's money to be made out of unemployment.

This horror story deserves its own thread, it is a dreadful state of affairs. Still, education and training of the populace is now the new way to put them in debt, what with the writing being in the wall for buying a house.

Think of the money paid to a4e and the like, and the online courses and certificates that could buy for so many individuals, that would see them productive and employed. There is clearly no appetite for this and they dare to label people shirkers.

It's just disgusting.

Edited by Tonkers

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New Bank of England figures show £3bn slide in lending to small businesses

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/new-bank-of-england-figures-show-3bn-slide-in-lending-to-small-businesses-8640407.html

All FLS money sucked into propping up the UK Housing Ponzi

We are not only bankrupt economically but also of ideas.

+1

(except that it's not "we" it's the people running things ;) )

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Bizarre that there's no money for training unemployed people but a private company can be paid £5k for a work placement (how much training would that buy?) Bizarre that people can get sanctioned for finding their own work placements or voluntary work in a field they're qualified or experienced in, yet get sanctioned again if they don't take up a post stacking supermarket shelves.

Anyone cynical might conclude that there's money to be made out of unemployment.

+1

(it's not even necessary to be cynical - it's starting to become only too obvious)

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John Major seemed to overcome a price correction. From 1989 - 1992, we had a plummet in house prices, and yet he won the GE. There are many factors to winning an election, and the weakness on immigration & EU and 'apparent' cuts will probably lose it for them.

He did indeed. It did the country no harm and the negative equity was relatively low then. Labour at the time had Kinnock whom the nation never really took to; the media were pretty destructive. (He's been found out since as a big-time EU trougher).

This horror story deserves its own thread, it is a dreadful state of affairs. Still, education and training of the populace is now the new way to put them in debt, what with the writing being in the wall for buying a house.

Think of the money paid to a4e and the like, and the online courses and certificates that could buy for so many individuals, that would see them productive and employed. There is clearly no appetite for this and they dare to label people shirkers.

It's just disgusting.

Agreed. There is a nasty streak, more about being seen to do something and being able to lay blame at the feet of others. Didn't a recent report state that these schemes are worse than doing nothing? It's about power, status and spin.

New Bank of England figures show £3bn slide in lending to small businesses

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/new-bank-of-england-figures-show-3bn-slide-in-lending-to-small-businesses-8640407.html

All FLS money sucked into propping up the UK Housing Ponzi

We are not only bankrupt economically but also of ideas.

We don't have any leaders nor politicians with any sense of the greater good. Merely chancers and hangers on. It is our own fault for electing them and not 'unelecting' them. They seem so bereft of ideas that reheating the soufflé is all the have to offer. It's a waste of time, it won't taste nice and people will eventually twig that something is not right.

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My mate works for a local council and he told that it's always conservatives who block new housing developments.

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The Government needs to grow a pair.

Tell the Countryside brigade to go take a hike, and tell the people we need x thousand houses per year for the next 50 years, and MAKE IT LAW that planners actually plan this in as NO 1 priority.

Ideally, yes. Though they think they would lose the election. I'm not sure.

oh, and halt immigration.

Red herring. We have 7 million foreigners living here, but 5 million Brits living abroad, and many of these left behind large "empty nests", whilst most immigrants live in much higher density housing. Do the maths.

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  • 239 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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