Wednesday 15 February 2023

Disappearing Homes Conundrum Revisited (cont'd)

Serendipitously, the BBC had an article on this very matter.

Whilst second-home owners and retirees were rightly held up as the prime culprits, there was another reason mentioned for the lack of ability of local people to find a home in the area, (but not mentioned very loudly, this is the BBC after all):

"It is like a perfect storm - there's a lack of social housing, a lack of affordable homes, rising prices, not enough well-paid jobs.

Yes, the Tories' political masterstroke of the 80s, the great sell off at undervalue of the country's social housing, is still having its malign effects to this day.


Rich Tee said...

I find this drive to get over-50s back into work interesting. This seems to be a group that saw COVID as an opportunity to take early retirement. How can they afford to do this?

The answer may be that this is the first generation from the home owning explosion of the 1980s. The have paid off their mortgages and, since housing is most people's biggest expenditure which this cohort no longer have, they have calculated that they no longer have to work and can live off pensions and savings.

An unintended consequence of a Thatcherite policy.

Lola said...

Thatcher's sell of did not per se lead to a shortage of council houses. It was the Tories refusal to allow/control over council spending which stopped them building more.

Also the sell of was the largest wealth transfer in history (I read somewhere). And that is not me saying that the sell off was A Good Thing.

Bayard said...

RT, indeed, a few years ago a colleague of mine realised that he could sell his house in southern England, move to his holiday home in Wales and he would never have to work again, except as much as he wanted to. He's now part-time, self-employed and no doubt enjoying life far more than he was as an employee.

L, the sell-off wasn't necessarily a Bad Thing, it was the selling off at undervalue, like everything the Tories have ever sold off that belonged to the state.

Doonhamer said...

Get your cheap gold here.

mombers said...

@B indeed, the problem with Thatcherism is that you soon run out of other people's assets to privatise

Lola said...

Mom and B It sort of puzzled me as to how we could be sold things we already owned. You might have de-nationalised stuff by issuing every taxpayer with £x of stock.

mombers said...

@L what is astonishing is the cognitive dissonance of disposing of public assets without disposing of the corresponding liability. Flogging a public asset that allowed a low to middle income family to live near their place of work / school without removing the low/middle income places of work from the area predictably has ended in the public having to effectively rent the asset back via housing benefit. Proper 'capitalism' in this case would be removing public hospitals, schools, civil service offices etc from desirable locations

Bayard said...

" predictably has ended in the public having to effectively rent the asset back via housing benefit"

I think that was always part of the plan. The Tories have always been the Landlords' Party. In the C19th it was the rural landlords, the aristocracy and the gentry, but in the C20th it switched more to smaller urban rentiers.

Lola said...

Bayard. I agree. I genuinely think that the rentier wing of the Tory party outwitted Thatcher by arguing for and getting HB. And that of course played right into New labour's plans to get everyone onto 'benefits'.

Mombers. Well, 'proper capitalism' aka Adam Smith style laissez-faire would mean the de-nationalisation of all those service businesses. Such a move would obviously result in the state's ability to release tens of thousands of bureaucrats to find more rewarding wealth creating work in private business. And that would mean a lot of office space would be emptied. And of course when 'we' implement a full on LVT system 80% of HMRC staff can be equally well treated.