Friday, 21 March 2014

Three years later, it reads like a parody...

From the BBC, January 2011:

People should no longer see property as an investment for retirement, Housing Minister Grant Shapps has said.

In an interview with the Observer, the Conservative minister said he wanted government policies to usher in a new age of "house price stability".

He suggests the government could help limit further house price rises by encouraging the building of more homes.

Mr Shapps said it was "horrendous" that house price growth had outstripped earnings since the 1990s.

"This government absolutely supports peoples' aspiration to own a home," he said. 
"But we also believe that (property) should be primarily thought of as a place to be your home."

The MP for Welwyn Hatfield told the paper he wanted people to look to investments that are supposed to offer security in old age, rather than rely on housing.

'Basic need'

He described the rise in prices between 1997 and 2007 as a "crazy period", which had left many younger people struggling to buy a home.

"I think it is horrendous that a first-time buyer would need to be 36 on average if they do not have the support of mum and dad," he told the paper.

"The main thing everyone requires for their subsistence is a roof over their head and when that basic human need becomes too expensive for average citizens to afford, something is out of kilter.

"I think the answer is house-price stability."

He spoke of a "rational" market in which house prices fell in real terms, by increasing by less than earnings.


Lola said...

Yeah. I remember him saying all that....makes you weep don't it.

Bayard said...

The question is, did he think he was lying then, or is he lying now?

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, yes.

B, I can only assume he was lying then, he did not really mean it.

The question is "Why did he even say it?" They'd already won the election so didn't have to soft-soap anybody any more, he could just as well have waffled on about "Encouraging recovery in the housing market" or something.

Dinero said...

What is going on with that URL address

Mark Wadsworth said...

Din, glad you liked it!

When linking to a URL, if you put a question mark at the end, you can then type absolutely anything you like and the link still defaults to the part before the question mark.

Bayard said...

M, apart from the trotting out of the housebuilding myth, what he said is quite reasonable. My theory is that he was saying what he actually thought, but then the men in grey suits came and explained to him the consequences of upsetting the HOist grandees, since when he has toed the HOist party line and spouted the usual rubbish.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, yes, that is just about plausible (do these people not check the party line before giving speeches or interviews?).

Either way he's a raging hypocrite and wrong anyway.

Bayard said...

(do these people not check the party line before giving speeches or interviews?)

I would say they only forget to do it once, if they are a Tory.

The Stigler said...

"(do these people not check the party line before giving speeches or interviews?)"

That's the trick. You can have lots of party lines if you do it carefully. And the trick is that you have junior ministers and backbenchers and advisors saying it and eventually people think it's policy. The leader doesn't say anything about it, the manifesto doesn't mention it, but people may be more inclined to vote thinking they'll get that thing.

And each can say it in different places to suit the audience, without it ever being a commitment from the party leader.