Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I doubt that....

...many of my blogging chums will agree with me, (except Mark), on the following.

This is the most selfish generation of homeowners in British history. Until we confront our own selfishness, there will continue to be huge housing shortages, especially for young and less-affluent citizens.

I find myself in total agreement* with Labour MP Denis MacShane on his Observer article.

As far as I am concerned, the right to buy scheme should never have happened.

* I'm off for a lie down with a cold flannel on my forehead.


Sam Duncan said...

I agree, but in a rather different way. The houses should have been given away. The whole point of the divestation of state-owned housing was to foster the responsibility that comes with ownership. The people who most needed to learn that lesson were - and still are - those least able to take advantage of the right to buy. It failed on its own terms.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not that big on own-your-own-house-for-the-sake-of-it. Rental often makes more sense. But when it's the faceless state, with its supposedly limitless pockets that you're renting from, often with money given to you by that self-same state, the sense of personal responsibility over your surroundings and to your landlord is diminished. Some people deal with it better than others (most, in fact, deal with it pretty well) but all are infantilised. Emergency provision for the genuinely homeless may always be necessary, but the state had to stop being the default option for so many.

There will continue to be huge housing shortages until we abolish planning laws. It's not rocket science. Whenever a state tries to control a market to the extent of approving every individual project - and banning activity outright in some places - shortages and prohibitive prices result. Every time.

RantinRab said...

Sam, I'm not sure about your first paragraph.

The state to 'train' people in responsibility?

Sam Duncan said...

No, to stop training them in irresponsibility.

Sam Duncan said...

Although now I come to think of it, that probably was how the Thatcher government saw it, yes. Which is why they sold them: in their view, the people most ready to buy were the ones they were targeting. They were the ones most ready to learn responsibility.

In fact they were the ones on whom the statist “training” and infantilisation had been least effective. The very fact that they wanted - and were able - to buy their homes and improve their lot themeselves shows that they were already plenty responsible. So what we saw was the better council Schemes improving even more, while the worst ones remained largely unchanged.

Dioclese said...

I have no problem with tennants having the right to buy. What I have a problem with is all the second homes in this country that stand empty 5 days a week.
I think if people have second homes, they should pay through the nose for it - like for example trebling the council tax and losing the CGT exemption on their main home. It's a bloudy disgrace that we are concreting over the country to build houses while there are vanity houses standing emty.

As far as responsbility training goes, you'll never get people to accept that they are are in any way at fault. It's always the other bloke that needs to do something.


Sam,so there was no intention to stack wards with conservative voters?why then did shirley porter(tesco)flee to the racist republic of israel,purely to avoid the millions in penalties for her subterfuge?Further if planning laws were to be thrown out of the window,how long would our "green and pleasant"last?the real problem is too many people,the majority of them foreign,indolent and unable/unwilling to improve thier own countries come to parasitise mine.

H said...

I agree, up to a point. The point is this - young people and the less affluent will almost always be less well housed than older and more affluent ones because they are young and less affluent. Who decides how well housed they should be? And how much should it cost everyone else?

Mark Wadsworth said...

RR, ta for link.

SD doesn't appear to understand economics.

H, "young people and the less affluent will almost always be less well housed than older and more affluent ones because they are young and less affluent"

1. What is "affluent"? Young people have very similar incomes to older people (and rather more than pensioners), but older people bought their house for £30,000 twenty five years ago and a younger person is now expected to pay £200,000 for the same house.

2. Older people achieve this state of affairs by rabid NIMBYism and ensuring that taxes on properties are constantly reduced and taxes on income are constantly increased (and used to pay for things that benefit homeowners), thus doubling up the transfer of wealth from younger productive people to older property owning people.

Sam Duncan said...

Really, Mark? I take that as a compliment, but what part?

I admit my advocation of a giveaway is inspired partly out of mischief, but I stand by the principle: mass government ownership of houses (or anything, if it comes to that) is a Bad Idea.

If it's the planning thing, ditto. Or do artificial barriers to an activity somehow encourage it?

Jibes aside, I accept it's not all about planning (and I'd have said so later if I hadn't monopolised this thread already); your points to H are dead on, too. But it's hard for NIMBYism to work without the force of law behind it.

Dark Lochnagar said...

Guys, that is life. I bought my first house for £18k, 30 years ago. Probably you get £180k for it now. Wages will keep pace with house prices. When I first took to under-age drinking 40 years ago, you could get 8.5 pints to the £pound. We are all squeezed into a system where we pay through the nose for credit all our lives, barely keeping our heads above the water, while fat fucker politicos like Foulkes, ( http://tinyurl.com/2ubtcg2), gorge themselves at our expense. Sorry Rab, I know that bit is O/T but I'm going through a very cynical stage at the moment!

RantinRab said...

DL - Wages will keep pace with house prices?

Your big fat fucking arse they will/do!!