More homes

The government’s White Paper today needs  to look at ways to provide more homes, all the time we remain in the EU and have to accept more than 300,000 additional people each year coming to stay in the UK. Even after we are out it is likely we still want to invite in a large number of people. Ministers have made clear we will still welcome talent from around the world, whilst controlling the numbers seeking low paid employment. It’s no good inviting people here if we do not provide homes for them to buy or rent, and if we fail to provide all the other public services people expect in a rich country.

Much has been made of the need for more homes to rent. We should not forget that there are many more people wanting to buy who currently rent, than there are people who currently own who want to become tenants. Many of the people who now settle for the rented option do so because they cannot afford the deposit or think they will have problems getting the mortgage to buy.

Nor should we forget that it is much dearer over a lifetime to rent than to buy. If someone needs a home for 60 years as an adult, it will be much cheaper to take on a 25 year mortgage and pay it off over the 25 years, leaving you free of any rent or mortgage costs for more than half your life, than to have to pay rent for all 60 years. The joy of owning comes in retirement when you have no rent or mortgage payments to make, and when you also have a capital asset which you can sell to pay the nursing home fees in a home of your choice if need arises. In rented accommodation you will be paying the highest rent of your life as a pensioner, because rents always seem to rise. You have no asset to fall back on if you need to move to a care home.

The good news today is more mortgages are available and mortgage rates of still very low  by historical standards. The bad news is house prices are high, and saving for the deposit even with the help of government schemes can be difficult.

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150 Comments

  1. APL
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    JR: “all the time we remain in the EU and have to accept more than 300,000 additional people each year coming to stay in the UK. ”

    Now invoke EEA article 112 since the volume of immigration is causing excessive social strain and stress on infrastructure.

    Bingo! Sorted.

    You already have the tools to hand, why haven’t you Pols used them?

    • Hope
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      JR, your number is incorrect. 865000 in numbers issued last year. Not the govt estimate of 330000. This is a mass immigration problem that your govt has encouraged and despite false promises has done nothing about it despite Year on Year record numbers. Public services overwhelmed, no control of our borders, EU criminals allowed to enter our country at will and commit further crime, despite May’s false claim during the referendum. The vast numbers continue, benefits paid to people who never set foot in this country as well as record amounts of our taxes wasted on overseas aid! Madness brought by the Tory govt. sadly not all EU related as you claim.

      • zorro
        Posted February 7, 2017 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        Quite true, the NINO number are real figures involving people, whereas the 300,000 net figure is derived from the ridiculous, highly unscientific, and random passenger survey which relies on people telling the truth and covers a tiny proportion of the travelling public. A truly scandalous situation when a government hasn’t a scooby doo on the accurate migration statistics or if someone is still in the country because of our porous borders and the Common Travel Area lack of border control…..

        zorro

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted February 7, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        Hope

        UKIP could have a field day!

      • Ken Moore
        Posted February 8, 2017 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

        JR – I respect your integrity and intelligence but even you must acknowledge todays piece was a whitewash to ‘shoe -horn’ your party’s PC agenda into your own. Please accept there are serious differences.

        An Mp like yourself should not be ‘backing winners’ who benefit from large scale immigration as the rest of the establishment do. No we don’t want to continue to accept large numbers of people because it’s not fair on the people already here who need a home or school place. Please spare a thought for your constituents that will have to wait longer for NHS services who are genuinely frightened by the speed of change they have had to accept.
        You know, and your constituents know this country cannot accommodate the number of people projected without sending living standards backwards.
        As a former banker you know about the current account deficit, unfunded pension liabilities and the unpayable national debt.

        If you will not speak out and say clearly that this country doesn’t have the space and resources to expand public services by the amount needed -then who will ?

        .

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      JR, why will you not allow me to point out the truth about Article 112? Do you want us to end up stuck in the EEA with no effective control over immigration because people have been duped into believing that Article 112 would give us control?

      • APL
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        Denis Cooper: “Do you want us to end up stuck in the EEA with no effective control over immigration because people have been duped into believing that Article 112 would give us control?”

        If serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties of a sectorial or regional nature liable to persist are
        arising, a Contracting Party may unilaterally take appropriate measures under the conditions and procedures laid down in Article 113.

        Seems pretty clear to me.

        The text is up for public consumption here:
        http://www.efta.int/legal-texts/eea

    • Ken Moore
      Posted February 8, 2017 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

      ‘Even after we are out it is likely we still want to invite in a large number of people’

      If anyone in Wokingham has indicated this to John Redwood on the doorstep I would be amazed.
      Who is this ‘we’….businesses that want cheap labour or a larger customer base?. Ordinary people just trying to get by ?.

      Sorry JR..your sounding dangerously out of touch and that worries me.

  2. Cheshire Girl
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    It was said yesterday that at least forty five per cent of all homes built will be needed to house people who come into the UK from other countries. That means we will never catch up! In my opinion, we should be very selective as to who we invite in, and should only take in those who have the skills we need. We should also be very protective of our beautiful countryside, and try to pass it on for future generations to enjoy. We do not own it exclusively. Frankly, I have no faith in housing White Papers, nor the idea to ‘encourage’ older people to downsize and free up their homes for families. Various Governments have got us in this mess. They shouldnt be given an easy ride!

    • Jerry
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      @CG; “at least forty five per cent of all homes built will be needed to house people who come into the UK from other countries. That means we will never catch up!”

      Even if that was true, of course we could build enough houses, just like we built enough houses after WW2, not only to replace Blitz damaged housing stocks but to replace those pre WW2 slums.

      “We should also be very protective of our beautiful countryside, and try to pass it on for future generations to enjoy.”

      Of course, but what if our forbears had been like minded, many of those ‘brown field’ sites you think should be redeveloped first would still be “our beautiful countryside” you would (presumably) have want to protected!

      “Various Governments have got us in this mess. They shouldnt be given an easy ride!”

      Agreed, but only since 1979, before that government housing policies were based on needs of the population, not the political needs of the government of the day…

    • graham1946
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      We’ve had more housing promises than houses built.

      Getting the elderly to downsize (why should they, its expensive to move) will not add one extra unit to the housing stock.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      CG,

      Many of us have been saying for ages that this country is going to hell in a hand cart, and it looks as though we’re not far off that eventuality. We seem to be edging nearer towards collapse with each day that passes.

      Strange, that whenever there’s a protracted and increasingly nasty problem, there’s always an ineffectual politician in the mix who is totally out of touch with the wishes of the electorate, who seems not to have a clue how to solve it. Perhaps we in the UK need a decisive businessman with some gonads to lead us, to make the right decisions and extricate us from the mire, rather than pussyfooting around.

      (and for once, I managed to say that without swearing)

      Tad

    • Iain Gill
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Well the governing party won the last election promising to drop immigration to the tens of thousands, but have spectacularly failed to do so. Its about time they got on with it.

  3. Mark B
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I cannot believe what I am reading today.

    Even after we are out it is likely we still want to invite in a large number of people.

    Why ? And, who is ‘we’? I have never given my consent to large numbers of people coming here.

    The solution to the problem is in front of you. Stop all immigration and let the market decide. DO NOT build anymore homes. Let prices rise to the point where they will find their natural balance. All the time the government is in the market it is distorting it and making it worse. Higher rent and house prices will drive out most low skilled foreigners allowing those foreigners that we want, the ones with higher skills and wages, to buy into the market.

    Of course none of this is any good for the human ponzi scheme the government has concocted to get more cash from Stamp Duty / Tax.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      We want the good immigration and not the bad, just be selective (but according to socialist May we cannot use “points” for some reason) so lets give them + and – banana credits – for salary, health, money for their own housing, private health insurance, age, skills, numbers of dependents, net benefit to the country and the likes.

      Let’s be sensibly “discriminating”!

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted February 7, 2017 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        L/L

        They are discriminating – against us!! British nationals.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      I am very concerned about the messages now coming from the government about the expected volume of immigration in the future. I can understand that it may be necessary to gradually wean some businesses and other organisations off their present dependence on cheap and biddable foreign labour, but in almost cases that should only be for a limited transitional period. The government seems to envisage that even when we have regained complete control of our immigration policy we will still want to continue with the “human Ponzi scheme” of mass immigration on a scale similar to now and continue that forever more, directly contrary to the wishes of the great majority of citizens.

      • zorro
        Posted February 7, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        Indeed….. No, No, No

        zorro

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted February 7, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        Dear Denis–Fully agree

      • M.A.N.
        Posted February 8, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        The implications of this are not hard to see, people who voted in the last election for the conservatives will either spoil their paper or vote ukip.

    • Hope
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      We had the “Boles bung” to entice councils to build build. The legislation was changed on the presumption to grant. He advocated for building on national parks and green belt, despite promises to contrary when seeking election. A few years on we have councils using the NHB and CIL for vanity projects and ordinary spending on overpaid salaries and councilor expenses. The money we were told would go on infrastructure, no such thing happened including the concrete urban jungles wrongly labelled village gardens. Loads of houses, social change brought to rural areas without the infrastructure to support it. The Tories need to hang their heads in shame and sort out the previous mess before creating even bigger ones. Facts JR not aspirational rubbish cited in your piece please. Please tell us of the millions of pounds raised under NHB and CIL how much has gone on infrastructure and how much on ordinary spending? Councils are already separating the community charge to demand add on for social adult care, flood defense and the like. How many times should we have to put up with add one, more taxation! Immigration continues outside the EU at an alarming pace as well.

    • hefner
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Mark B: “Let the market decide”: fair enough but what happens if the market (not “we”) requires more workers not available from British education system.

      The British universities are among the best in the world, but UK primary and secondary public education do not rank among the first fifteen ones in international tables for maths, science and reading.
      Similarly the medical and pharmaceutical industries are right there at the top of the leagues, but the NHS, for whatever reasons, is becoming worse not better, and rely on a non negligible number of non-British/immigrant nurses and doctors.

      So how are you going to solve these problems?

      • Posted February 11, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        The educational establishment will hate this :

        Pick out the brightest 20% early on and educate them separately.

        In other words, a Grammar School system from the age of, maybe, seven ?
        Moves between the types of school would be encouraged at the end of every academic year to give every child a chance of improving and moving up.

        I would also encourage a return to smaller schools which are more manageable and would be better places to work and study in.

        I would allow the private school sector to bid to operate the upper tier schools as long as they worked within the same budget per pupil. We might then see an end to many of the less successful private schools as parents with bright kids struggling to pay fees would have a decent choice.

    • John
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      Like it Mark B.

      Add to that the removal of the £11,000 tax free income limit and instead reduce the tax rate down from 20%.

      The reason is that only 2 countries in the EU have such a tax free amount, the UK and Germany. When the average earnings in Latvia are around £8.5k and taxed at 23% who can blame Eastern bloc people seeing the UK as the Tax free haven. Our minimum tax free wage of £8 is more than double their average wage.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted February 8, 2017 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

      Even after we are out it is likely we still want to invite in a large number of people.

      A cynic might suggest JR has accepted that immigration control is futile. Perhaps Tesco want a larger population but not the man on the Clapham omnibus..

      I wonder how the people of Wokingham will feel when they realise that speculative land developers will now be able to overturn planning decisions by appealing to the government inspector.

      Mr Barwell wants to ensure that councils demonstrate they have a ‘5 year supply of land’. If not, it doesn’t matter what local people think central government can bulldoze housing schemes through. Thank you Conservative government for demonstrating how much you despise your own natural supporters.
      I suppose that’s what May means by a ‘country that works for everyone’..(except those that appreciate peace and space)

  4. Yosarion
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Is Bercow trying to Sabotage the Country?

    • Newmania
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      I have to say that even people like me who wholeheartedly agree with Mr Bercow think he has jumped the shark on this . Who on earth does he think he is ?

    • Bob
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      @Yosarion

      “Is Bercow trying to Sabotage the Country?”

      He’s another remoaner trying to throw a spanner in the works for post Brexit Britain. If ever you doubted Nigel Farage’s remarks about a fifth column in the UK, doubt no more!

    • Hope
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      He is a hypocrite at best. He invites heads who had immigration bans and appalling human right record. This about self publicity and costing up to the far left.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Mr Trump needs to be made aware that Britain is in struggle with the Left too.

      • Mitchel
        Posted February 7, 2017 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        Indeed,this is a cross-border cultural struggle across the western world of a similar magnitude to the one that began almost exactly one hundred years ago.How will it end?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      The man is unsuitable to be an MP let alone the speaker. His election says much about the dire quality of MPs. Hopefully when the current puppet parliament restores its real power the quality of MPs will improve.

      The man must go.

      • rose
        Posted February 7, 2017 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        As I understand it, only three Conservative MPs voted for him, one of them being himself.

        With any luck Lord Fowler will assert common sense and decency.

        • Ken Moore
          Posted February 8, 2017 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

          Bercow used to be a Conservative..before jettisoning all his beliefs and principles in a cynical career move in order to ascend the greasy pole. Now lost in a fog of political correctness.

          • rose
            Posted February 9, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

            “Now lost in a fog of political correctness.”

            And hellbent on doing down the party that didn’t vote for him? Even if it means doing down the country?

      • hefner
        Posted February 7, 2017 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

        LL, your statement does not hold water: even when the current parliament will have restored it’s real power, the quality of it will depend on who the voters will choose as their MPs. If the Parliament is weak, it is the fault of the electors who chose weaklings.

        The point is that even after a completed Brexit, there is no certainty that things will change that much. There will not be EU-meddling in UK affairs but I would not trust the present or future MPs not to make a mess of things.

        Fortunately after 40 years, we will learn why and how things will have happened: cf. the very interesting program on Radio4 at 13:45 today giving the actual details of the Kennedy-Krushschev conversations around the Cuban crisis, not really what the common people had been told all those years ago.

    • Bert Young
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Bercow has now gone too far . He must be sacked .

      • miami.mode
        Posted February 7, 2017 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

        BY Perhaps somebody should start an on-line government petition to get rid of him. Sufficient signatures should ensure that parliament has to discuss it.

      • The Prangwizard
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        It would be interesting to know what Mr Redwood thinks this time. If I remember correctly his view has been tha Bercow deserves on balance to be protected from challenge because he is generous with backbenchers wanting to speak.

        I wonder if Mr Redwood’s tolerance is infinite.

        • hefner
          Posted February 11, 2017 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

          If you had followed the history of who and why the EU referendum was called, you might have realised that it is partly thanks to John Bercow giving minority groups the possibility to speak up in Parliament that David Cameron finally promised a referendum.

          So do not throw the baby with the bath water. History might be much nicer to him in a few years’time than most people on this blog.

          • hefner
            Posted February 11, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

            Oops “of how and why the EU referendum”. Sorry.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Dear Yosarion–The Left wing crap comes first to him–In any event what happened to the good stuff about no eyes to see or mouth to speak except as instructed? I at least hope he does not have the support of the House. He’s another one of these Conservatives who isn’t.

    • turboterrier
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      @ Yosarion

      Is Bercow trying to Sabotage the Country?

      Think you are about right on that one. I find it amazing that he is still in post.
      Sometimes you have to think twice, engage brain before opening mouth especially when you are in a high public office. T think he might reap what he as sown as he is not everybody’s favourite in Westminster.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted February 7, 2017 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        Dear turbo–He doesn’t seem to understand, nor even close: he is not there to tell us what he thinks–It’s as simple as that. Anybody know what needs to be done to get rid of him–I mean summarily and immediately?

    • Prigger
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      No, he has.

    • graham1946
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      Trump is far more valuable to this country than Bercow.

      Anyway since when did we edit what foreign leaders can say? We have a tradition of listening and trying to change things we disagree with by diplomatic means.

      Bercow is now a liablity and must go. Can’t Parliament have a vote on it, or are they all worried they won’t get called by Bercow to spout their inanities on telly?

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      I’m told that no-one has actually approached Parliament to ask if Mr Trump can speak to both houses. If it happens then he has the right to turn the request down (so does the Speaker of the House of Lords – they both must agree).

      So not only has he jumped the gun but he seems to have broken a clear convention that the Speaker is impartial. If he had been asked and turned the request down, he would have no need to explain why, especially not using the explosive language that he allowed himself in this outburst.

    • hefner
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      What about Bercow simply being a reasonable person finding Mr Trump’s comments on women, torture, refugees and the judiciary difficult to accept?
      Do I have to assume that most of the contributors on this blog have similar thoughts on these topics (W, T, R, J) as Mr Trump does.
      If it is the case, I pity the UK.
      And I would appreciate to learn what exactly Mr Redwood thinks of the same topics, or whether he thinks that such comments can simply be airbrushed for the sake of a (future) better relationship with the US?

    • R.T.G.
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      @ Yosarion
      He might also be assisting the Remainers, who want to steer the UK back into the cosy but disfunctional family of the EU, by alienating the elected President of the USA.

  5. Iain Gill
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Mortgages for freelancers are far too hard to get. Compared to the ease with which they are dished out to PAYE workers. This part of the market is broken.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Indeed, yet a PAYE worker could lose his job the next day whereas the freelancer has more rather options as they work for several customers. Banks are so rarely rational nowadays, in relation to lending risks.

      Doubtless why they crashed so badly, robbing their shareholders, while over paying their top staff hugely for driving the businesses into the ground.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Dear Iain–You might see it differently if you were a lending banker–By the time your freelancer had proved himself he might not even need the mortgage

      • Iain Gill
        Posted February 7, 2017 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        I doubt it. Especially as I know lots of people who end up taking a PAYE job just for six months simply in order to get a mortgage, and then as soon as the mortgage has gone through they promptly go back to freelance. This whole set of real world dynamics must be being modelled very badly in the banks risk approach.

    • getahead
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      When I was a doubtful character buying a house, I always found the easiest way to get a mortgage was to get your lawyer to do it. People in the trade always have connections.
      I don’t suppose I was alone.

  6. alan jutson
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Afraid we should adopt a rather more selective immigration scheme than you suggest John.

    No one should come to this Country unless they have a job, and unless that job has been fully advertised here for 6 months and is still vacant, thus people already here get first choice, then it should be a work permit for say 3 years which could be extended, not a permanent right to stay.

    No benefits for anyone who comes here until they have been registered with HMRC and paid tax for 5 years.

    Companies should be encouraged to up skill or train people who are already here.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      Dear Alan–Yes, and it should be made explicit that incoming workers are not full UK citizens till, for instance, they have been here and in good standing for a required number of years and paid their taxes and even then only after application and approval.

  7. MickN
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Forgive me Sir as this is off topic but I am seething. Today I feel shamed by the discourtesy shown by our so called impartial Speaker of the House to the duly elected leader of the free world. We have, indeed HE, has entertained leaders with appalling records on human rights but feels we cannot shown the same courtesy and respect to the new President of the USA. I am struggling to find the words to write this as if I used the ones that I would like to use you would not allow it on your site. Those members of your party that ensured his re-election must feel very proud. I believe that if he ever was, he is no longer fit for purpose. Oh for someone with the grace of Betty Boothroyd.

  8. sm
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    When people like me ask why areas in parts of the country other than the SE of England cannot be targeted for housing regeneration/garden cities, the response is that there are no jobs.

    Perhaps I’m being naive, but wouldn’t a major growth in population generate, of itself, employment? Building, repairing, maintaining not just homes but all the services that are needed – drains, lights, traffic management, policing; then these people would need to buy food, get educated, require health and social services, some entertainment….fill in the gaps for yourselves. Wouldn’t State assistance be of more use in both helping people AND rebalancing the country?

  9. Old Albion
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    More homes! It’s one bloody great building site around here. Kent countryside is disappearing under concrete to house immigrants. Stop immigration, you will have the power.

    And this statement is a disgrace;

    and when you also have a capital asset which you can sell to pay the nursing home fees in a home of your choice if need arises.

    After a lifetime of paying tax, shouldn’t the people of England be protected by government just like the Scots?

    • alan jutson
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      Old Albion

      Renting is not neccessarily the more expensive option if you get housing benefit. !

      Also no maintenance/modernisation fees/charges to pay on the property.

      After all that you also get free nursing home care if you have spent all your money enjoying yourself, instead of tying up huge amounts of money in a home.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Dear Albion–Yes–Beats me why we cannot get better ideas going that will mean many more new houses being built in what I understand is now to be called the Northern Powerhouse. New houses, as with new immigrants, heavily related of course, are only OK in moderation. The Government’s overall average numbers for new housing don’t mean much when you are living in what used to be an ancient pretty village now with greenfield new housing estates at every turn–with the nearest town opening “Eastern European Shops” (and so-labelled) at a rate of knots. Have you BTW noticed that “Development”, like “Chemical”, has become a dirty word?

  10. alan jutson
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Problem with just building more housing, and I agree we need more homes for people who are already here, is the risk that some areas become over developed and we end up with large areas which are so concentrated with people, that it leads to stressful living.

    People need a certain amount of space to feel comfortable, space is needed for recreation, for clean air, for less stressful travel, for less noise.

    Of course our housing policy is a mess, of course people need freedom to move about to change properties as required for either job or family reasons., but successive governments seem to like more housing built, simply because of the tax it raises.

    We are now taxed if we move, up or down, what next, tax if we breath ?
    This being not far away as we are now taxed for polluting the air with certain emissions etc.

    Afraid the government seems to want it always, the chaos in the NHS is simply down to more people seeking treatment, the chaos on many of our roads is because more people need/have to travel etc.

    Too many people are the real problem, not the solution.

    • getahead
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Immigration is in a mess, rather.

  11. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Buy a home so you can cover your nursing costs in later life!

    Sir that is not a great tag line for your government.

    My father died with no assets having followed just such a course, others in his nursing home getting the same treatment were being paid for by the taxpayer. Some had not been in the country for a lengthy period.

    Suggest the government stops paying housing benefit which will reduce the cost of housing for all and uses those funds for elderly care for those who have paid in and saved.

  12. Richard1
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    John Bercow’s juevenile virtue-signalling over Trump is an embarrassment and a disgrace. It’s time to boot him out.

  13. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    John

    Politicians and the media maintain that we need thousands more new homes so where is the water coming from to flow through the taps of all those new homes? What happens if we experience a succession of dry summers?

    Do we have an infinite supply of water from our exisiting reservoirs or are there plans to construct new reservoirs that I know nothing about and where would they be located?

    • Barbara
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      The EU, for as long as we are still in it, does not allow the building of new reservoirs.

    • hefner
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Don’t worry: JR told us yesterday that climate change, if not a hoax, is just a mildish thing.
      The funny bit is, even when he is given references based on observations or presentations to the GWPF (not really a bunch of climate change crazies), he does not see fit to accept those on his website.

      • libertarian
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        hefner

        Well thats odd because the climate scientologists keep telling us we are all going to drown due to the rising water levels. Make your mind up, which way is “the science” pointing?

        • hefner
          Posted February 10, 2017 at 9:10 am | Permalink

          See yesterday’s “Bias, … alternative facts”.

  14. Anonymous
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    The mass house building here coincides with the local hospital crisis. No other provision was made except new housing on crowded estates. Clearly it wasn’t done for locals as we were told as demand for everything has shot up.

    (I noticed that the BBC used the expression ‘frail’ people rather than ‘old’ people when reporting on the hospitals crisis last night.)

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Perhaps the complaints have finally got through to the BBC. Hopefully they have dropped blaming the ‘ageing population’ – though ‘frail’ will become a euphemism for ‘old’.

      We never hear from the BBC who the suspects are in the rise of anti-semitism both here and on the Continent. On this they are far less specific: one is left to presume it is the booted skinheads we see just about everywhere in Britain today. #sarcasm

  15. Caterpillar
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    1) The monetary system in the UK would need to change to shift behaviour from asset speculation to economic investment.
    2) Green belt does not support animal diversity nor animal movement – needs to change.
    3) The claim that buying is cheaper than renting doesn’t currently stack up, but if the market is working there shouldn’t be a large disparity.
    4) Suggesting a house as a savings vehicle seems to suggest that houses should be seen as economic investment – hence building should happen as investment. Allow investors to buy new build without stamp duty? (Again need to fix the monetary system against speculation – community not large banks for money creation).
    5) Specify a target stable population and hit it (this would have to affect immigration and n-child policy, also it would affect status in the world as size of UK c.f. World would continue to fall).
    6) Wealth tax on any banked land.
    7) … have half the population work nights and house share to increase asset utilisation 🙂
    8) Further increase the rent a room tax free allowance.

  16. stred
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    The government may like to consider the loss of accommodation resulting from housing legislation brought in by Labour and made worse by Conservatives. Many people decided to use Buy to Let as a pension when their pensions were raided and became useless. If they bought 3,4 or5 bedroom properties they used to let them to sharers and sometimes families. This provided less expensive accommodation and was liked by generally younger people not in a position to buy.

    Then the 5 bedroom houses were licensed and higher standards of facilities and fire precautions were installed. This made sense, as larger bedsits had higher fire risks. possibly because the tenants had risky lifestyles. The government commission the ENTEC report which examined fire risk in smaller houses and this found no difference between small houses used by sharers or families. Nevertheless these smaller houses were included in HMO legislation and it became a requirement for them to be inspected and environmental heath departments were created, resulting in conversion costs of over £20k.

    Many landlords have decided to let to two persons instead of four or,if they can find them, couples, rather than deal with councils. At the same time councils have extended the ‘problem’ areas for which the legislation was intended, sometime covering whole boroughs. The fees allow an expansion of staff. As a result, rents have had to increase and less accommodation is available. In fact, many landlords only stay in the market because they would lose a large sum paying CGT and stamp duty.

  17. Bert Young
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Communities cannot possibly go on accepting pressures for more houses . Things are already stretched to breaking point : traffic volumes , hospital overcrowding , GP waiting times , insufficient schools , inadequate roads , trains – ad infinitum . Media headlines everyday focus on one sort of problem or another entirely due to over-population ; my principal reason for voting for Brexit was the need to control and restrict immigration . We simply cannot handle the numbers we have – use the Trump approach – stop it !!.

  18. Lesley
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Is the cost of maintenace of property included in your 60 years better to buy than rent?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Maintenance plus the insurance & all the buying and selling costs and Osborne’s absurdly high stamp taxes, land registry costs, valuation fees, legal fees. Anyway the government will grab up to 40% of it off you in IHT in the end if you own it.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      Dear Lesley–And I didn’t notice a reference to housing slumps–The fact that such a possibility did not get even a passing reference is a sure sign we are due for one–At which point renting may not seem so bad. This is the sort of thing (if only to make clear that borrowing and buying have to be measured and circumspect is what I for one would have expected our host to have mentioned. In any event interest rates simply have to go up soon (Please God!).

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Or the stamp duties, interest paid and (particularly) the money taken from the estate to pay for the old age care of one’s self and the non-property owning person in the bed next ?

  19. JimS
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    We should be aiming for a target population of circa. 35 million.

    Some of my neighbours are renting their houses. In the last 25 years they will have had their bathrooms and kitchens replaced twice and the building insulation improved. They will also have paid lower rates than me because my house was re-valued before I bought it and theirs have never been.

    Now I pay no mortgage. If they are short on income they will get housing benefit. Should I go into local authority care I might have to sell my house. If they go into local authority care, if they are smart, their dependents will take over the tennancy and the local authority will pay for their care.

    Buying maybe makes sense if house prices can be guaranteed to always rise.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      The local authority doesn’t pay for their care. YOU do. Your care home fees are jacked up to subsidise the residents who can’t afford it.

    • rose
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      No-one in government ever discusses the optimum population figure for these islands. Yet it is fundamental to all planning. When we were at 50 million we were told we would fall to 35 million because of smaller families. Then along came the unasked for mass immigration. Even today I meet Liberals in favour of open borders – mayoral candidates, ex MPs, councillors etc who believe our population is growing because old people aren’t dying soon enough. This means BBC bias works.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      Exactly the government has removed the moral hazard of being feckless, with the entirely predictable result of more fecklessness.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted February 8, 2017 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

      Renting has the advantage that you do not have an asset that the state can sell of to pay for your nursing care.
      Those that have scrimped and saved lose everything to pay for nursing care and those without a farthing get it all free.

  20. BCL
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Abolish the Community Infrastructure Levy (local authority fine for building a house) of £120 per sq m and many more houses will be built

  21. Antisthenes
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    A generous welfare state will always be a magnet for foreign low skilled workers. Brexit can allow the UK to do much more in removing that attraction so also removing some demand for housing. It is the supply side that is the major problem and whilst there are so many vested interests who benefit from that situation the problem will remain. The current account deficit, the BoE’s strangle hold on interest rates and money supply and overkill building and planning regulations are a very major factor in maintaining the high cost of housing.

    Indeed in most cases owning is better than renting but one of the main reasons for doing so undermines that objective. In that it becomes not just a home but also an investment so creating an incentive to ensure an ever rising cost of home ownership. The housing market has long since stopped operating as a free and fair market. Instead it has become a plaything for vested interests who manipulate it for financial and political gain. An example of socialist theory of central control of supply and demand in practice which always lead to shortages and high prices.

  22. John
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    With the backlog of ‘dwellings’ at several million on top of the 22 million homes in England and Wales I think we can imagine the congestion and reduction in quality of life that will build.

    That aside buying a home will become impossible for most and we have to deal with that for future generations. Building a further 10 million homes on top of the say 8 million backlog will not solve it.

    We need to create the environment that will attract residential property funds to exist. A low return but very low volatility and a hedge against many other assets. A fund with thousands of properties in it will drive down the service costs and rents.

  23. Michael James
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    House prices are high BECAUSE mortgage rates are so low. Get interest rates back to normal asap so that people can save deposits faster and to bring house prices down.

  24. Ed Mahony
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the richer, older generation could dip deeper into their pockets to help the young pay for first home / pay into existing mortgage.

    Perhaps, we need to become far more family minded in this country (both ways, old towards young, and young towards old).

    Being more family minded would resolve so many issues: economic, mental and health (and the direct and indirect cost of all this to the government and tax payer), with strong family life, above all, helping to create a stable, sane country.

    • graham1946
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      How many of those do you reckon there are when one percent of the polulation own fifty percent of the wealth? The middlers are already the Bank of Mum & Dad.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Well I’m already doing that, Ed. My inheritance is going directly to my children. But please don’t anyone tell us we are getting richer. If you have shares in cruise companies then I’d advise ditching them – my parent’s generation will be the last to have enjoyed them.

    • Graham
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      Most enterprising offspring will move for work and to grow themselves. Staying local to look after future elderly seems a huge waste of people’s lives.

      Also giving away money to buy property is fine until it is needed to pay health costs in later life – who pays then?

      Is that what you are really suggesting with a straight face?

      Slack thinking in my opinion.

      Slack

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        I’m not being black and white about it. But i just think if we were more family-minded, a lot more could be achieved with more younger people being able to buy their own houses and older people bot being so lonely when they get older (and you can have lots of friends and be busy but still be lonely).

    • Edward2
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      They do

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted February 7, 2017 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

        My cousin’s father-in-law is a multi millionaire, and won’t fork out to help my cousin and his wife buy a house. My cousin’s in his mid 40’s, works in the City, but still can’t afford to buy house (in London).

        • libertarian
          Posted February 9, 2017 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

          Ed M

          BS if you’re cousin really does work in the city he doesn’t need handouts to help buy a home.

  25. Ed Mahony
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    And instead of just talking about family values (and the benefit of this to the country), the government needs to do more to promote family values through direct government policy as well as by more indirect ways by working closer with church groups, the media, and people in education etc to try and promote family values more in this country.

    • zorro
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      As you must be aware, the prevailing media and bien pensants are not pro-family at all but completely selfish individualists with no thought for posterity……

      zorro

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted February 9, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        I agree.

      • hefner
        Posted February 10, 2017 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

        Please, remind me, who said: “There is no such thing as society, only individuals”?

    • libertarian
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Ed M

      Tell you what why dont the church sell off some of the billions of pounds of untaxed assets they have and put their money where their mouth is?

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted February 10, 2017 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

        Libertarian,

        I agree to a degree!

        However, the Church is the biggest non-governmental health provider in the world (and does things on a similar scale in education and other things – for its 1 billion Catholic followers as well as for people who have no faith but require practical assistance). It would be irresponsible if the Church didn’t keep a relatively safe amount of assets for these practical concerns it’s faced with (and which others won’t).

        Lastly, throughout history, there’s been a tension about wealth in the Church. You get those who think the Church should have no wealth and those who think it should be allowed to be wealthy (such as in the Middle Ages). Fortunately, we have great men such as St Francis of Assisi who (indirectly) challenged greed and corruption in the Church during his day.

        For the Church, money itself isn’t evil. But it can be. It tries and takes a healthy balance. Not forgetting the spiritual life. And it often its wrong (not just greed / corruption, in particular during the Middle Ages – but also an amateur approach to handling assets which happens a lot now).

        Regards

  26. Ian Wragg
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Gideons whole growth strategy was based on increasing the population.
    By importing half a million immigrants annually it gives an impression of growth
    Hammond is just extending this.
    Today we learnt there is a £1.3billion aid fund for Chinese elderly whilst we treat our own disgracefully

  27. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Housing affordable..some hopes. Policies don’t build houses especially the open/invite anyone in border types. You’ll need a good education, skill, experience or parents that have a achieved much before you and enough to defeat an inheritance tax.

    Landording…thats another long joke. Perhaps Trump may achieve as he stated and I hope he can get into the Westminster swamp to offer good advice….some hopes now and who would want to face the likes of that fools playground.

  28. Original Richard
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    We do not have a housing crisis, we have an immigration crisis.

    England is already one of the most densely populated countries in the EU, if not the whole world, and yet mass immigration continues unabated.

    Continually bringing into the country migrants who cannot afford our housing, nor make worthwhile tax contributions to provide the necessary investments in schools, in social/health care, or in infrastructure such as a transport and utilities, will eventually lead to a completely different housing and social structure around our large towns.

    This is in addition to the problems arising from increasing pollution and decreasing social cohesion and just “space”.

    • anon
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

      Agree with this comment.

      Another issue is the UK must treat and does treat EU citizens equally.

      If housing benefit rules were not topping up “wages” for EU workers and ofcourse displaced UK workers. Then we would see if the job market would enable the levels of rent to support the immigration. More likely we would see wages rises , less immigration and more automation/productivity.

      Who checks the asset status of EU nationals that claim housing benefits? I suspect this is a problem just like student loans being re-paid.

      We are still acting like an escape valve for a chronically poorly managed EU continent.

      Get us out now stop our contributions, direct this to NHS, infrastructure and reduce immigration. Start raising the minimum salary requirements substantially where benefits are a non issue.

      We have enough people in the UK!

      Why have an overseas aid budget when we invite overseas here and pay for it?

  29. norman
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Modern education encourages everyone to be ‘chiefs’: to be an ‘indian’ is to be consigned to ignominy. This means few are prepared to work on farms or in care homes – perfectly honourable , but hard work and ‘poorly’ paid. It becomes impossible for them to buy their own home – another iniquity – the obscene price of housing.
    Our country is thoroughly sick everywhere you look – the NHS, the BBC, the House of Commons…. of which Mr Speaker’s latest outburst was a sickening disgrace. Brexit is the first step on a very long ladder….and without a spiritual renewal, will be a ladder to nowhere.

  30. fedupsoutherner
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    I am just listening to a debate on TV about building to rent. We need homes for people to rent on a long term basis. A bit like council housing where people feel secure to be able to raise a family. However, once the children have moved out and a 3 bedroomed place is too big for them they should know that they have to downsize and let that property be used for another family.. There are too many single/couples living in large properties that could be used for families.

    They are now talking about homes that have been bought where the land is on a lease and is then sold on to an investor. What the hell is going on? We need more 2 bed bungalows for people like myself and my husband who want to downsize but want to stay in a detached property.. So many of the smaller homes are terraced and starter homes. We don’t all want a 4/5 bed detached executive home.

    Stop bring in so many immigrants!! Simple.

  31. turboterrier
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Highlighted today on the Beeb is the con of developers selling the house to the owner but keeping the freehold to sell to investors.

    This has got to be addressed and pressure surely must be put on the legal profession to highlight this to the purchaser. Sadly it seems that the developers appear to insist you have to use their tame solicitor.

    The full force of the government must be bought to bear and name and shame these companies.

    • bigneil
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      The “full force” of the govt will only be used if the govt can get money out of it.

  32. fedupsoutherner
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    ” and if we fail to provide all the other public services people expect in a rich country.”

    I hate to say this but we are not providing adequate services now let alone with more people. When are the media going to highlight the fact that with thousands of extra people every year we are only going to get a worse service than we have now. It is not only England that is struggling in the NHS. I live in Scotland and I have been waiting for an appointment to see my surgeon for 11 weeks now. No letter yet and when it does come I will still have to wait at least another 3 weeks.. The whole of the UK is struggling and I don’t see a way out of it all the time immigration is so high.

  33. Posted February 7, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    We live in a four bedroom home with a large garden and are told by all the ‘Do-Gooders’ that we should down size so that a family could have a home. There are those in politics who actually would like to force us, and other oldies, out of our homes. No longer in the eyes of many lefties is a person’s home their castle (unless you live in Islington!).

    We tried downsizing when I retired 20 years ago. We didn’t want to move away from our friends and family but found that smaller houses in the same area were not significantly cheaper and that two bedroom apartments would actually cost more. If one adds all the removal costs such as Estate Agents, Solicitors, Stamp Duty and moving costs, along with the cost of items like carpets, curtains, other fittings or refurbishment, we would have been well out of pocket.
    Moving now would cost even more as we are no longer as fit as we were and we would have to pay someone to do all the work involved in getting the home to our liking. It’s cheaper to stay and pay for a gardener. Also we’ve got room for more distant friends to come and visit.

  34. turboterrier
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Developers are like the three Ms advert,

    Me Me Me

    Money Money Money

    Nothing more. nothing less

    Having worked in the industry for over 45 years it has never changed

  35. Iain Gill
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Other things need looking at too.
    Quality of new build houses is already very low.
    I get a better guarantee with a new car than I do with a new house. After 2 years builder is no longer liable and issues are passed over to the new build guarantee insurance company, often with a large excess, and only covering a subset of issues. Some builders are going from place to place leaving behind big problems.
    The whole way new houses are signed off as meeting building regulations needs fixing too, so that the people doing the signing off become jointly liable in easily enforceable ways for problems they have ignored. Since many of the building control officers doing the signing off are friends of the builders the current system has far too little incentive for the people doing the sign off to stop obvious problems.
    I would also like to see the state randomly snag samples of new build houses and hold the people to responsible for the worst quality.
    Real active measures need taking to ramp up the quality.
    Building more new houses with the rubbish quality being turned out currently in a large proportion of them wont help anyone.

  36. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    As an aside, I’m getting tired of opposition MPs whining that there is insufficient time to scrutinise the government’s Bill when they are wasting so much time on repetitiously raising the question of the future status of EU citizens already settled in the UK.

    The government’s position is clear and there is no longer any need for MPs to ask for it to be explained. It is not a position I agree with, but it has been stated again and again and it is clear: if other EU countries had been prepared to make bilateral agreements then this could have been sorted out long ago, at least for those countries, but apparently they feel themselves bound by the EU’s common ayslum and immigration policy and the EU is insisting that nothing can be done until the Article 50 notice has been served.

    It is also worth noting that if the Lords foolishly dare to carry out the renewed threat of delaying the Bill for thirteen months, the maximum period of delay entailed in the use of the Parliament Acts, they will in fact be unnecessarily and callously prolonging the uncertainty and stress for these people.

    • rose
      Posted February 9, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Conservative MPs pointed out to the SNP and Lib/Labour that prolonging the debate was delaying certainty for the residents. They also pointed out what should be reiterated again and again, that the delay was also being insisted on by the EU and therefore people should be directing their ire in that direction. What shocked me was how scant was the regard for the interests of the less than a million British ex pats. The opposition didn’t mention them as far as I can remember. Gibraltar and the 3-4 million continentals here, yes, but not their own people. And the SNP didn’t seem to know about Mrs Merkel having vetoed the agreement between us and some 20 countries to get on with it as soon as possible.

      To suggest in this context that all we have to do is concede everything unilaterally and our people will automatically fare well, seems to me starry eyed. There are hard-nosed people on the other side, after our money, and intent on making us poorer in other ways too. They are not sentimental about ordinary people’s lives and those less than a million ex-pats will be used for more than just securing continental residents’ rights here.

  37. Eh?
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Economies with underlying/underpinning home ownership have not worked.

  38. Iain Moore
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Everybody , bar those inhabiting SW1A 0AA, can figure out where the problem lies. You cannot build your way out of a housing crisis while inviting millions upon millions of people into the country. And what is really depressing when you think that may be , just may be, the political classes have been made to wake up to the issue, we get ….’Even after we are out it is likely we still want to invite in a large number of people’ . In this mad dash to turn our country into a heaving cesspit of humanity , is there nothing, absolutely nothing you want to conserve?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      Well you can if the migrants have enough money to pay for all the new buildings needed. We just need to be selective.

  39. David
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    There should be a principle that if you work, you can afford better homes than people on benefits. Sadly that is not the case now. I remember once a pro single mum telling me in my flat that she would never live in my area – I thought I have to pay for you to live somewhere better than me?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      Or to have more children than you and have more time to herself than you!

  40. ferdinand
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I wonder in fact how many new homes we really need. Normally when government interferes in a market it usually produces either a large surplus or a considerable shortage, both of which hamper the market.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      +1

  41. graham1946
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    John

    What’s going on? I made a post and have been accused of being a spambot and asked to fill in a numbers box. Did that and my post disappeared. Is this how it is going to be in future? Maybe you need to find a better system.

  42. stred
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    According to the ONS, 629k NI cards were issued to EU citizens and 195k tp ROW. This suggests that they go home in less than a year and are not recorded in net figures. From conversations overheard on the tube, I am informed that many workers in London are sharing houses. Councils are prosecuting landlords letting to more than two unrelated persons. The latest landlords newsletter informs that two landlords have been fined £20k each.

    We have been building around 140k house pa and are trying to double this number. Given than people working in the UK need houses, how is this policy going to come anywhere near solving the problem. Listening to the BBC this morning discussing housing, there was plenty of talk about greedy landlords and high prices but no mention of increased population.

  43. The Bad Count
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    JR.Grossly unfair to Labour MPs and their hard working families.
    How will they pay their mortgages after the next General Election?

  44. zorro
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Yes John, but we need to focus on the government seriously reducing immigration/settlement to less than 100,000 (more like 50,000)…. That is what fuels the rent and house price increases. We did not vote Brexit to merrily continue with immigration anywhere near the current rate!

    zorro

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      Yes, originally Cameron said that his aim was to reduce net immigration to the levels of the 1980’s and early 1990’s, a few tens of thousands a year.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 7, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      No ! We need zero immigration for at least 5 years. Only those with very specialist skills should be admitted and, they have ample funds and their own health insurance.

      • zorro
        Posted February 8, 2017 at 6:29 am | Permalink

        I don’t defer from that aim, but practically speaking that is what would ne likely providing that we have a reliable way to measure it unlike the current ‘Passenger Survey’ (whioch I wrote about, but not posted 🙂 )…..

        zorro

  45. miami.mode
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    …….Even after we are out it is likely we still want to invite in a large number of people…….

    It seems bizarre that the government happily allows an increase in the population and then expects the housing industry to provide homes for all whilst having to make a profit or go out of business. Economies generally go in cycles, so what happens when we experience a downturn?

    Government needs to take a more pro-active stance on housing.

  46. Posted February 7, 2017 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    As a recently retired IFA who arranged mortgages and investments, a buy to let Landlord with a portfolio of properties and the father of two sons in their early 30s I feel well qualified to comment on this subject. I therefore can’t apologise for the length of this post.

    In my view the whole housing problem rests at the door of successive governments, including the current one.

    1. Mortgage Availability
    The mortgage market ran very well until the Government chose to regulage mortgages.
    Almost overnight they became much more difficult for me to arrange and for clients, the criteria became so strict that many have no chance of obtaining a mortgage, all for no good reason.

    In particular, although there was no substantial problem with repossessions, mortgage criteria on credit history and income was tightened unnecessarily and the self employed have effectively been shut out of the market. IFAs have little choice other than to tell the self employed wanting to buy a home to get a job on a salary for six months, buy their home then revert to being self employed. Yet self employment for many, including carpenters, builders, heating engineers etc, is a more reliable form of income than employment as with multiple sources of income they can’t be made redundant.

    2. Buy To Let
    Buy to let is an excellent form of housing provision. It had arisen because Brown destroyed the pensions industry with successive “reforms” and people turned to bricks and mortar as an alternative form of provision for old age. Buy To Let therefore solves two problems.

    Yet the Cameron and May Government seem bent on destroying this as well ! The changes to CGT started by Brown have continued and after paying off their mortgages, many landlords would now be in effective negative equity once they have sold when the higher rates of CGT they now have to pay have been taken into account. They are effectively locked in whether they like it or not !

    Giving tenants more rights is the latest wheeze thought up by Whitehall. Landlords are not making a fortune, far from it. Pickle’s relaxed the rules on council tax void periods and we are now paying out an average of £2,000 pa more in council tax on our properties during short periods in which they are empty because of normal changes of tenant. This is because Councils are now charging the full rate of council tax from the moment a property becomes empty, even though no services are being provided. Why do we not even get the single person’s 25% discount on an empty property ?

    Mrs May should ask Hammond who is going to replace the buy to let landlord he is so keen to get rid of ? Certainly not local authorities.

    3. Rent or Buy ?
    It is a fallacy that a majority of young people are renting because they can’t buy.

    Our sons and their friends lead a completely different lifestyle from that of previous generations. Relationships are far more transient and they move about more, both in the UK and spend time working or travelling abroad. Unless mortgage lending rules are relaxed again and buying a home can be simplified to being no more costly and time consuming than buying a car on a personal leasing contract, buying will not be an option for most. Many genuinely prefer the flexibility of renting.

    4. Housing Demand

    Politicians, including our host, will not admit the obvious link between inward migration and the shortage of housing. 330,000 additional residents each year require at least 110,000 additional homes. As the shortfall is not a lot greater than this number, reducing inward migration “to the tens of thousands” as we were promised would go a long way to solving the problem.

    Finally, of course we have the inequity of stamp duty. Hammond’s disgraceful 3% surcharge on Landlords and a system that takes no account of the size of a home, just the price. Both are deeply discrimatory to people of all ages living in the South of England and in our larger cities.

    The fault for all these problems rests at the door of Government. Yet from hearing Sajid Javid on the Today Programme this morning it’s clear that they still aren’t listening and every action they take just seems to make things worse.

  47. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Another instance of the sickening hypocrisy of the eurocrats:

    https://euobserver.com/eu-china/136810

    “If others around the world want to use trade as a weapon, I want to use it as a tonic; a vital ingredient for prosperity and progress”

    That’s from Cecilia Malmstroem.

    The average Briton might reasonably ask:

    “So who’s Cecilia Malmstroem when she’s at home?”

    but the answer is here:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/27/cecilia-malmstrom-swedish-politician-play-hardball-with-uk-on-brexit

    “Meet the Swedish politician ready to play hardball with the UK on Brexit”

    “Cecilia Malmström, the EU trade commissioner, will take a hard line on new trade deals”

    “A week after the result, Cecilia Malmström, Europe’s lead trade negotiator, stated that the UK could not even begin discussing a trade deal until it had left the bloc.”

    One might have thought she would say something like:

    “A good trade has developed with the UK in the EU, to mutual benefit I think, and we will want that easy trade to continue without interruption after the UK has left”.

    But, no; as has always been the case from long before the referendum vote the EU prefers to do just what she now tells the Chinese she opposes, namely treat trade as a political weapon, and specifically as a threat against the UK.

  48. behindthefrogs
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    My daughter has a small house in Cornwall which she lets to a permanent tenant. She was thinking about purchasing a second property but has been put off by the stamp duty rise and the inability to claim mortgage interest as expenses. This is also likely to cause her to sell the first property as the economics are becoming unacceptable.

    There were proposals to charge double council tax for empty properties after a year. What has happened to this proposal. We also need two or three higher council tax bands and single person relief restricted to the band C amount. These and other measures should put downward pressure on the prices of the larger houses. This is likely to be much more effective in reducing prices than proving more relief at the bottom.

  49. Barbara
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    This is ridiculous. We are a small, formerly cohesive country and and not an empty bag into which anyone and everyone can be stuffed. It is nothing but non-stop building, building, building of identical new homes round here, the latest offering being sited on prime farm land. The government have deliberately caused this problem and are now forcing their so-called ‘solution’ down everyone else’s throat, leaving small local communities with the impossible task of fighting (in the last case I heard of) new developments of 4,000 (four THOUSAND) houses.

  50. ian
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Nice plan john, should able to do well out of that, thanks.

  51. They Work for Us
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    All of this continues to tell us that direct government by referendum is needed because politicians cannot be trusted to act in our interests but always “no better”. A referendum instructing govt to reduce immigration to 10,000 a year would win overwhelmingly. Let us have referenda on more major issues – politicians do as you are told and if you can’t then resign and take your conscience and judgement with you. Where is the English Parliament to represent the major paymasters, the English people. Where is a proper right of recall so we can ditch MPs that displease us? Let us simply start with a Petition for The current Speaker to resign.

  52. norman
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Many migrant workers in agriculture live in caravans or converted barns, on site. The farmer’s speak well of E.European workers, because they make dedicated stock-men, and are not work-shy. Sadly, native stock-men or field workers, as in the days of my father (who was one of them) are now few and far between.

  53. norman
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Ed Mahoney – with respect, Sir, no – keep government well away from Church! There are some who already want to snoop, on the basis that we might be ‘extremists’ if we don’t endorse ‘British Values’ (which used to mean biblical values, but not any longer). Its pretty obvious what they are now – BBC-speak, for example! There’s going to have to be a political earthquake if this goes on, so don’t expect an easy ride up ahead – it might be more like the days of Bunyan, and Cromwell (if only!)

  54. The Prangwizard
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Many people do wish to own property, fewer prefer to let. Both landlords and tenants under our shorthold tenancy letting system have justifiable fears and anxieties as a direct result of it. I do not advocate either rent controls nor statutory tenancies.

    I think however if we encouraged a system much as they have in Germany where investors build properties (often high quality) to let on much longer terms which tenants then fit out for example with their own kitchens. The rent is thus lower, the tenant will take much better care of the property as he has an investment in it and will be much less likely to default, and may be able to build capital from savings. It benefits those who have no significant capital or don’t wish to borrow large sums. There is security of tenure for the tenant for maybe five or ten years and security of rent for the landlord.

    These kitchens are then either removed when the tenant leaves or sold to the new tenant if the LL allows. I won’t go into more detail but it has much to commend it.

  55. Ginty
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    It’s not just increased housing we need.

    It’s roads, schools, hospitals…

    It really is no good building lots of houses without provision of these things too.

  56. ferdinand
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    I know there is a tendency to use ‘home’ and ‘house’ to mean the same but almost everyone has a place called ‘home’ but not necessarily a house of any kind.

  57. Chris
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    We are not a rich country with over 1.4 Trillion debt, and elderly people having to drink water out of flower vases in hospitals as there is not the money, nor appropriate training of nurses apparently, to provide proper care. Add to that those queuing in the corridors and dying before they are seen. We cannot keep providing for all these extra numbers and there has to be some sense applied to our situation. We have not the money, nor the infrastructure to provide for them on this scale, and it is no good saying that we need these large numbers. We will have to get our people into work, and pdq. Many of these incoming people are NOT going to jobs, but instead are using our benefit system and our hospitals, housing etc, which of course then means that our own UK residents are not provided for.

  58. ian
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Syria leader saying hes going for elections, another win.

  59. Stevie Gee
    Posted February 7, 2017 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    John, the deficit is a disgrace. Let’s have a list of what you would cut to achieve balance. I’ll go first (apologies for length but there’s so much wrong with our government right now):

    1. Triple lock becomes double (no 2.5%)
    2. Difd abolished and spend reduced to 0.2% via FO. Culture dept abolished. Lords all pensioned off and then new body cut to 400, elected on five year terms by PR, reflecting vote share from each election. These would be all appointed as now, but would reflect the popular vote not just Dave’s mates and would be announced before each election so we can butcher the cronies’ reputations before voting.
    3. EU budget tapered away, as we wean them and us off various subsidies
    4. Put 20k limit on medical damages and allow judges to ‘award’ NHS carers, instead of millions of pounds, if patient is severely harmed, with big fine to NHS if provision does not meet court defined standards (gets lawyers out of way)
    5. Abolish translation services for government services
    6. Limit housing benefit to below 30th centile of rental values for postcode plus 3 miles as defined by Rightmove
    7. Abolish both business rates and corporation taxes and increase VAT to pay for it (and more). U.K. origin sales mandate U.K. VAT. Companies sign up, otherwise they lose their business registration in the U.K.
    8. Scrap HS2
    9. Borrow large sum of money on long bond and compulsory buy all PFI contracts from NHS, turning 20% interest into 2%. Bung companies some up front cash, so managers can get their bonuses and shove off happy not caring what happens 15 yrs later (standard city MO)
    10. Scrap clinical trials directive and make trial recruitment a factor in categorisation of hospital managers assessment. Trials provide better care and co-fund each patient treated in the NHS
    11. Make private healthcare partly tax deductible as long as insurance policy mandates it should be used in an NHS affiliated facility. This will provide big injection of cash and capacity into hospitals
    12. Abolish Harriet Harmann’s equality act and all public sector roles associated with it. This is a ‘post -ist’ society now and we should move on from agi-prop politics
    13. Abolish the climate change act
    14. Pass law allowing fracking with one month planning process where no houses within 1km and outside national park. Only road access, noise and ‘place of beauty’ to be considered. Tax all proceeds at 20%, to be used to lower council tax bands for all houses within 10 miles of frack site.
    15. Abolish all subsidies for energy and mandate at least 50% base load must come from gas. Cancel the Hinckley madness.
    16. Abolish student loans for non U.K. Citizens
    17. Abolish license fee and privatise BBC

    That should do for starters and leave you a trillion or so spare to build some infrastructure in sensible places and an army again.

  60. Chris
    Posted February 9, 2017 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Why, Mr Redwood, is my comment above not being allowed? It is stating what the situation is, and unless people are honest about the nature and extent of the problems, how can they hope to solve them? It would be helpful if you went onto the BBC website and read the reactions to the BBC programme on housing needs, where they omitted discussing one of the key causes (see Migration Watch analysis) for the greatly increased need for housing, i.e. immigration. The anger at the BBC head in the sand attitude was reported in several newspapers this morning.

  61. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted February 13, 2017 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    Hart District Council has just rolled out its housing strategy for the Local Plan and is going to Regulation 18 consultation. I expect that various wards will be at each others throats, based on NIMBY principles.

    What is sad is that the actual number of houses needed over a 15 year period must depend on the average level of immigration per annum. Will it be:
    – Zero, allowing only temporary residence permits renewable for one year
    – Tens of thousands, as per the Tory manifesto
    – 190,000, the central ONS forecast; or
    – 330,000, the current level.

    It is doubly important because the Home Counties not in the Green Belt will be used as a dumping ground for London overspill.

    I have mischeviously suggested that the law be altered so that this Local Plan may be reviewed after 5 years, when we know what our national immigration policy is. That idea is for our MP’s in tray. The concept of planning for a 15 year time horizon but updating every 5 years is to me an attractive one.

    I have somewhat

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

    Promoted by Fraser McFarland on behalf of John Redwood, both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU

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