Thursday, 7 May 2015

Vested Interest letter of the day

  1. As MW has successfully demonstrated, there is no taxpayer subsidy in council housing. Rents cover building and maintenance costs.
  2. This guy proposes means testing council housing. Are marginal tax rates not high enough? With the mountain of benefit withdrawals now in place, any substantial means testing on council housing will bring marginal rates so close to 100% that you can just avoid it by putting money into your pension or other changing your behaviour in other ways, like working less, evasion, etc.


Mark Wadsworth said...

That letter pissed me off as well.

As you say, social housing isn't particularly subsidised by the taxpayer, and even if it were, then how much tax is somebody on a "six figure salary" paying? Fifty thousand quid a year?

And how much rent is he saving compared to renting privately? Maybe five or ten thousand quid a year.

So these people (i.e. Bob Crow RIP) were only getting a small tax rebate at best and still making a massive contribution towards public funds.

Random said...

MW, isn't this 'mixed communities' which the Homeys consider good.
And if they support increasing 'rents' because they can 'afford it' or should move, does this not apply to everyone else, especially PWIMs and foreign 'investors'. Hmm, yes everyone pays rents on the location to the government. Interesting idea Homeys.

L fairfax said...

If the Government were to rent some shops cheaper to e.g. Sainsburys than Tesco pay privately. I bet the EU would say that is state aid.
Why would they be wrong?

Lola said...


Ralph Musgrave said...

The free market is normally better than incompetent do-gooders: just make loads more land available for house building. The cost of land is currently about a third of the cost of houses. So potentially we could cut almost a third off the cost of houses.

Respectable PC folk want mass immigration, so presumably they want the country covered in concrete.

Mark Wadsworth said...

RM, you've tripped yourself badly on several counts.

1. The large home builders have enough land for ten years supply of housing, but they prefer to hoard it. You could give them planning permission for the entire country and they would not increase their building rates.

2. The cost of land is negligible in some areas and 95% of the cost of housing in other areas.

3. What does mass immigration have to do with anything? And further, why it was your own suggestion to try and encourage the land bankers to build more homes, you said it, not us.

Bayard said...

"You could give them planning permission for the entire country and they would not increase their building rates."

but it would make a serious dent in their profits - no more land to buy at reduced value and sell at its real value.

Lots of people on the radio waffling on about the "housing crisis" yesterday. Not even having the results of a general election to chew over can remove this myth from the media.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, that's a complete irrelevance to the discussion.

Or let's say, Barratts et al buy up all the farmland with ten miles of a city and are given blanket planning permission for everything. They still would not increase their building rates.

Why would they? If they've banked ten years' worth of land then clearly they would happily bank a century's worth as well.