Thursday, Apr 30, 2015

Let them exercise their right to buy

Independent: Over 50,000 families shipped out of London...

BJ's "No Kosovo-style social cleansing here, move along now" didn't quite work out like that. A combination of welfare cuts and soaring rents has 'cleansed' London of over 50,000 families in the past three years. Most are furtively 'dumped' onto other councils.

Posted by icarus @ 07:43 PM (6668 views)
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1. mombers said...

Just vomited in my mouth although I did kind of know this was happening...

Friday, May 1, 2015 11:54AM Report Comment

2. mombers said...

People on low incomes can avoid this sort of nonsense by just owning a very expensive house. Politicians would then fawn all over them with council tax freezes and refusal to reinstate the mansion tax aka Domestic Rates. Perfectly ok to cleanse the cash poor if they have no assets, but to ask someone who is cash poor, asset rich to contribute to society or downsize is unthinkable

Friday, May 1, 2015 11:58AM Report Comment

3. sneaker said...

Why not complete the job with mass deportation of the poor?

That would sort out the housing crisis easy peasy and then we can get on with the job of farming oligarchs.

(Heavy sarcasm of course, for the avoidance of doubt...)

Friday, May 1, 2015 12:27PM Report Comment

4. reticent said...

The govt. ostensibly does not want to build council houses because money is tight. Anybody with a hint of economic nous knows this is nonsense. Council house construction would pay for itself in savings from the housing benefit bill, increased tax receipts from the employment it would create etc. We built most council houses at a time when public debt was 2-3x its current level.

No party other than the greens is prepared to commit to building council houses because it would cost them the vote of just about every landlord in the country. That's about 1-1.5 million votes out of a turnout of under 30m last time. Given the Tories are prepared to sell off housing association properties THAT AREN'T EVEN THEIRS TO SELL, just to win votes from whatever portion of the 1.2m HA tenants actually vote and can afford to buy the homes they rent, that's probably all there is to it.

Depressing really, but just another way in which the government endorses rent-seeking behaviour rather than attempting to addressing the nation's problems in any meaningful way.

Friday, May 1, 2015 12:53PM Report Comment

5. britishblue said...

Its not just the poor or the underclass that are being shipped out/ excluded from London it is also the youth and students. 15 years ago a student or a young person on a low wage could afford to rent a room in central London. But now now even the outskirts are out of bounds. I live in Kingston upon Thames which is on the outskirts of London. It was a university town with 20,000 students in a population of 180,000. Even 10 years ago, every street would contain a few student houses, which were typically Victorian in different states of repair. Now with the average 2 bed house reaching close to 600k the ordinary student population has been wiped out and it is just the rich foreign students that live here. The media may mock Russell Brandt and call him a nutter, but his messages regarding housing in London are resonating with the younger generation. We have a whole generation that are not only being excluded from buying a house in London, but also not being able to afford reasonable accommodation. The political scene will look a lot different when these youth grow up.

Saturday, May 2, 2015 01:14PM Report Comment

6. britishblue said...

The housing greed is also effecting the social fabric of London as well which includes sport and young peoples activity. 20 years ago if you wanted to set up a dance club, boxing club, karate club, etc, there would be plenty of venues to rent at reasonable prices. Over the years everything has been demolished or converted for housing. Even a classic scout hut can be demolished or converted into around 8 flats. I have been working with a groups of people for several months looking for a place for a martial arts club and there is nothing and this is on the outskirts of London. The council facilities are full up and even churches that rent their spare rooms are full up. This country is stitching up both the poor and the younger generation, whether it be university fees, appalling housing possibilities or even sporting opportunities. Yet none of the national press seem to be really bothered about the youth in their election biases.

Saturday, May 2, 2015 01:23PM Report Comment

7. nickb said...

@6 totally agree.
The country is worsening for anyone that wants any kind of community. It can be fixed though, just tax land rents and redistribute or use the funds for the public good. There are lots of empty properties even in the capital that could be rented out.

Saturday, May 2, 2015 03:04PM Report Comment

8. clockslinger said...

Mombers @ 2, I say it is more important than ever to have a social mix in our communities, like when we were kids, so it's a good thing that the rich poor are encouraged to stay by some useful positive discrimination for once, and I for one am not afraid to say so.
It's the poor poor that are the problem, lefties, pedophiles and benefit scroungers. We've all seen them smoking their fags with their obesity and their flat screen TV's, laughing at decent law abiding folk that work for a living (or write for the Mail). The hard working families of this country deserve better and in the true sprit of our once-great nation will vote for a better future and get the economy moving again under a Conservative government on May the 7th.
Richard Littlejohn.

Saturday, May 2, 2015 04:49PM Report Comment

9. pete green said...

How to build half a million houses - for zero extra cost to the taxpayer:

1. shift your taxes to Land not labour
2. build some council housing through compulsory purchase of unused land (if only the greens leader could articulate her parties policy!)

Saturday, May 2, 2015 06:02PM Report Comment

10. clockslinger said...

pete green @9 Yes, it is a shame because as a Green MP Caroline Lucas has more integrity than the rest of the Lords and Commons put together (unless that is damning her with faint praise, which it isn't meant to be.)
For those that can still bear to engage with the Westminster system she is a very good MP. Sadly the rest of her party and her party leader don't deserve her and have bit of a doorstep PR problem that goes beyond just articulating policy.
Things like knowing what is in your party manifesto and such minor details as that. Perhaps unsurprising given that an unfeasibly large percentage of their rank and file activists working for her (well deserved) re-election appear to be are drawn from a cohort of self referencing middle class yummy mummies, unreconstructed Birkenstock wearers and homeopaths (or perhaps it's just my prejudice against smugness and an unreasonable belief in a scientific approach to medicine that are the problem...)

Saturday, May 2, 2015 06:40PM Report Comment

11. pete green said...

A friend of mine calls it the Zen & Land Value Tax issue:

His blog on the issue:

Saturday, May 2, 2015 09:37PM Report Comment

12. icarus said...

Decentralisation from London has been an issue for decades. Well, they've managed to achieve phase one.

More seriously, the two issues of decentralisation and LVT may be linked. If taxes paid by businesses in peripheral locations are similar to the ones paid by businesses in core locations the lower rents paid by the former are not sufficient to compensate for the disadvantages of distance from markets, skills, transport/infrastructure etc. Greater reliance on LVT (increasing the costs of core locations, decreasing the costs of peripheral ones) for tax revenue could help to equalise locational (dis)advantages.

Sunday, May 3, 2015 10:10AM Report Comment

13. nickb said...

I don't see why the sum of taxes plus rent in the two locations would not tend to equalise overall attractiveness. Also LVT won't increase the cost of core locations, it will just redistribute rent away from private landowners and, crucially, penalise speculation on land heavily in core locations.

Sunday, May 3, 2015 01:59PM Report Comment

14. icarus said...

nickb - If overall attractiveness were equalised resources wouldn't flock to big cities. It may be that rents in peripheral areas would need to be negative in order to attain such equalisation. Since rents will never be negative the idea would be for LVT to obviate or reduce other taxes burdening peripheral areas such that more of the burden fell on LVT, which would be collected substantially from land in big cities (sorry - meant "relatively increasing the costs of core locations, decreasing the costs of peripheral ones").

Agree with the rest of your post.

Sunday, May 3, 2015 02:45PM Report Comment

15. libertas said...

This is the inevitable result of allowing free entry to 1 BILLION European citizens.

Think about it, they all speak English. Where else will they go outside their own country for a job? London!! Particularly when Europe remains in the 2008 depression.

They claim 300,000 people are coming in a year on net, BUT NOBODY IS COUNTING. They have NO IDEA how many people are in London. Claims that we may reach 9 million by 2030 are rubbish. WE ARE ALREADY THERE.

All the big three parties have lied completely about this. Why? To prop up the European project, providing an escape valve for discontented folk from a collapsing Eurozone. This was NEVER about supporting British interests, it was about helping out in Communist style solidarity with the European project.

Sunday, May 3, 2015 10:07PM Report Comment

16. libertas said...

Of course, I meant to say 0.5 billion Europeans.

Sunday, May 3, 2015 10:08PM Report Comment

17. reticent said...

"All the big three parties have lied completely about this. Why? To prop up the European project, providing an escape valve for discontented folk from a collapsing Eurozone. This was NEVER about supporting British interests, it was about helping out in Communist style solidarity with the European project."

Those ruddy Commie Tories! Always looking out for the working man... of Southern Europe.


Yeah, Caroline Lucas seems very earnest and principled but the party seems like a pretty ragtag operation. A lot of their policies stand out from the rest by some margin, particularly on housing but what they do with what little airtime they get is pretty disappointing.

Monday, May 4, 2015 08:29AM Report Comment

18. Townplanner said...

When I was working in Hackney, I spent my time walking the streets doing site visits. One thing that was apparant was the peverse way that rented social housing helped to maintain poverty in an otherwise affluent area. It often appeared that people were bsing subsidised to live a poor life in a big city where food transport, clothes and just about everything is expensive.

People who are working can afford to take low wages because their house is subsidised so maintaining downward pressure on wages. People who are not working simply exist on benefits. However they are occupying homes that working people could live in. Those working people have to commute from outside London.

I do wonder if it would be better to find a way to force employers to pay more by way of a shortage of workers?

Monday, May 4, 2015 09:17AM Report Comment

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