Houses became a bit more affordable last year

In the year to February 2019 house prices edged up by just 0.6% nationwide, whilst average earnings advanced by 3.4%. Housing just got a bit more affordable.
There was a north-south divide, with London prices down by 3.8% and South east house prices down by 1.8% whilst prices rose in all other regions bar one. Prices were particularly strong in Wales, Northern Ireland and the North West of England.
Some will say this is good news. We want more people to be able to afford to buy a home of their own. These recent changes make homes a bit more affordable, without pushing recent buyers into heavy losses shortly after buying.
If you live through a house price collapse, as we did in 2009 during the credit crunch, people struggle to take advantage of the fall owing to the general shortage of credit and the risk of losing their job. Others who have recently bought can end up in a bad position. If they lose their job and main income they may have to try to sell their house into a falling market and end up with a nasty capital loss.
The recent squeeze on house prices has come from the tighter rules over mortgage provision. Banks are under instructions to limit the multiple of earnings they can advance and to demand bigger deposits from the buyers. Higher stamp duties have hit dearer houses where the price falls have been largest.
The issue is how far do we want this to go? Whilst it means more affordable homes, it does not necessarily mean more people manage to buy these homes. If house prices fall because of shortage of mortgage credit, that remains an obstacle to more people fulfilling their dream of a home of their own.
Meanwhile the government that says it wants homes to be more affordable continues with penal Stamp duties on many buyers. The London market in particular, where the average price is so much higher, is being badly damaged by high transaction taxes. It gets in the way of people downsizing and upsizing, moving to minimise their travel to work, and impedes people buying to restore an renovate.
When will the government listen to the need to cut Stamp duties some more?

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127 Comments

  1. Adam
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    The Govt’s brain is too busy trying to solve the nonsensical situation it has created & can’t think cogently for itself.

    • Hope
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Council tax rising far higher than wages and ruled out any pay rise this year. Student loan creating a life time of debt for Wnglish students a huge inhibiter. Let us not forget we are currently experiencing the highest tax in forty years over a variety key items like cars and stamp duty and energy. Not enough to tax us just when we are lainve but Hammond introduced another death tax for probate dishonestly calling it an adminstrative charge to bypass parliament.

      Let us not forget May has not got rid of her ‘dementia tax’ to rob us of our homes by forcing us to sell our homes for adult care it is still a green paper waiting for the right time to bounce on us!

      £15.1 billion in overseas aid and another £3.81 billion to the EU overseas aid. Nearly £20 billion of our taxes being wasted.uK politicians do not have a say whatsoever how the EU spends our £3.81 billion each year which May has promised to continue after we leave! Corbyn is not threat May and Hammond are. Fiscal and economic incompetence bolstered by lies. This is your party in reality today.

      Associations need to withdraw all support for the Tory immediately. No voice, no veto no say. May supports pro EU remain MPs above associations even if they declare they want to destroy the party and Hammond publicly states he wants them back! Do not knock on my door.

      • JoolsB
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        Well said Hope and let’s not forget May’s dementia tax will only affect England’s elderly as social care is devolved so no doubt the money raised from them being stripped of their life’s assets will help fund better social care in the rest of the dis-UK just as English students in the future will see their extra taxes continue to fund cheaper tuition fees for the rest of the dis UK and yet our host purports to speak for England and he and his fellow UK MPs squatting in English seats do nothing to stop this blatant discrimination against England’s young, sick and elderly. When I raised the unfairness with my MP recently of Scots students paying no tuition fees and Welsh & NI students being heavily subsidised, his only response was ‘and we’re paying for it’ You couldn’t make it up!!!

        • Hope
          Posted April 21, 2019 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

          Think rank today produces an article stating there is no possibility of May achieving immigration targets. We all knew it was a lie, nine years in office and historic record high numbers despite numerous claims to reduce to tens of thousands! May was HS and one of her principle policies that she failed to deliver. Police numbers cut, stop and search prevented, crime soared as a consequence. Two terrorist attrocities because of insecure borders and then historic records for illegal immigration on her watch and her Windrush scandal for people legally here! It is now Abundently clear she is totally untrustworthy and no one believes a word she says.

          JR, if you are to have a new leader Ken Clarke and normal suspects will be plotting for their remain Traitor. They do not care about being in opposition as long as they stay in the EU. Clarke happy to share a platform with Blaire to get UK in the Euro- where would th country be if that happened? Clarke did not care a jot about thousands of businesses going bust or thousands of people losing their homes for Majors ERM. No rerndum for Maastricht or LisbonTreaty when the country was lied to, they cared less as long as the UK stayed in the EU.

          • Mark B
            Posted April 22, 2019 at 4:54 am | Permalink

            In the third episode of, Poisoned Chalice, Ken Clarke recounts the ERM fiasco. Apparently when the country was going down the toilet they, Clarke, Major, Hurd and a few others, were sitting in the Admiralty building, Number 10 was being renovated after and IRA attack, and he said; “Think we better turn on the radio to find out what’s going on ?” And he did it with a cheeky smile on his face.

  2. Everhopeful
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Who would want to move around this country now?
    What Tory greed schemes might be encountered near the new home? HS2 or a new city?
    Buy to let has created nightmare scenarios not neighbourhoods ( trust me I know..already dreading today).
    Dodgy help to buy, tying young couples into everlasting debt and even leasehold issues. Meanwhile secondhand houses languish on the market and bizarrely Tories seek to strangle buy to let. No doubt with a view to bringing down house prices and handing lucrative rental trade to the “ Big Boys”?

    The Ebac man was right btw!

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 5:55 am | Permalink

      PS
      Stamp Duty is a huge disincentive to moving.
      However our pips are only just being squeezed to squeaking point so doubt it will be decreased. Govt policy has to be paid for when all is said and done ..whatever the cost.

      • Richard
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        Stamp duty is on the wrong side of the Latter Curve currently, particularly when the boost to GDP & other taxes from a lower rate is taken into account.

    • Stred
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      The attack on the BTL sector is probably a ruse to collect 28% CGT on the many properties that will have to be sold. There are 2 million landlords who chose this route to provide s pension. Their properties have quadrupled in value due to immigration and ZIRP, caused by the government. Hammond also acts to aid big business and pension providers do not like BTL. Big property firm have persuaded government that it should run private rentals. But in 20 years time, there will be 2 million extra pensioners needing pension top ups paid through taxation when private pensions fail, as they have today.

  3. Alan Jutson
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    I agree stamp duties need to be reduced drastically as it certainly impedes ease of movement.

    It also needs to be at one rate to avoid being caught in price break points.

    Those that choose to stay and extend, renovate, or improve also pay 20% tax in the form of VAT, when new build and listed buildings are Zero rated. Why ?

    Should homes, or work on homes (when it is a primary residence) be taxed at all !

    I can understand taxing the rental income from a home when landlords are involved as that is running a business.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      Alan Jutson
      We do not have a Conservative party IMO
      The govt is socialist and thus inclined to tax highly to fund social policy.
      And re taxation we ain’t seen nothing yet. Corbyn won’t rest until we are all in the gutter …

      • Hope
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        You are spot on it is Conservative in name only. It acts deeds and speeches could be written antken for a left socialist Labour Party.

        Look at Boles email to MP before the last election horrified at the prospect of a Tory becoming its leader!

      • Ian wragg
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        Correct. This is a Socialist government pretending to be Tory. Inviting Corbyn into talks has blown their cover and support is heamoriging.
        Why vote for quasi socialism when we have the real thing.

      • javelin
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        Nobody talks about Denand for housing only Supply?

        There is no benefit to the voters being an ostrich and saying you don’t believe in the markets. Denand and supply doesn’t stop happening.

    • eeyore
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      Until a few years ago improvements to listed buildings were zero rated but repairs paid the full rate. The malign consequences to ancient properties can be easily imagined.

      Now all works on listed buildings pay the full rate of VAT. New build, as Alan Jutson notes, is zero rated.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

        eyesore

        Thanks for keeping me up to date, was not aware Listed Buildings now get charged full Vat Rate for ALL work completed, was always a problem in the past deciding which was considered a repair, and what was considered an improvement, not seen any publicity or announcement on this at all.

  4. Mark B
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    House prices outside London and the South East are rising because ‘investor’s, not home owners, are finding rich and easy pickings because of the current way Stamp Duty is set up. It means that those people in those areas are slowly being driven out of the market or, competing with people with more cash. I know this because I know people who have sold properties in the South East and have invested in Manchester.

    It is better to remove Stamp Duty altogether. This would give people more cash to spend and create jobs. Currently this money is being taken by government and wasted providing various purchase schemes which further distorts the market.

    Sometimes it’s usually best if government did nothing.

    • Dominic
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      Governments in the west have embraced economic and social authoritarianism. Doing nothing is simply not an option. Doing something and doing something more often equals fat public sector budgets and ever increasing levels of intervention, power and control and this elixir of power drives their almost psychotic desire for microscopic control

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    We have an economic illiterate in number 11 who is actively damaging the property market and the property industry with idiotic fiscal and bank lending policies. Up to 15% stamp duty rates are totally absurd. Indeed turnover taxes in general are very damaging indeed and at 15% they are totally mad. Plus we have the double taxation of landlord interest (taxation of profits that are not even real profits), high CGT without indexation, enveloped dwellings tax, new proprosals to stop landlords evicting tenants (theft of their personal investments & assets in effect), bank lending restrictions and other idiotic interventions and distortions.

    What is needed is more houses or fewer people. To get more houses you need to relax planning, relax the OTT greencrap building controls, reduce the high utility connection charges, cut taxes, get rid of all the social housing provions and other taxes on developers that land on the buyers of them.

    Will the government also being in laws to say that when you rent a car for a week then the car rental company cannot have the car back without having to show good reasons why they should get the car back to the courts? What madness from this mad socialist government. What an excellent way to reduce the availability of properties to let and to harm the interest of landlords and tenants. A job creation scheme for parasitic lawyers that will benefit few but the lawyers.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Fool you for paying stamp duty. Why not wrap the property in an offshore company, then the company can be bought and sold without the legal ownership of the property changing hands?
      That’s what the global elite do.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        You cannot do that anymore. Anyway you had always had to pay the stamp duty when you first bought it unless it was already in a company. There is also the absurd enveloped dwelling taxes plus CGT for overseas owners now. You are a bit out of date!

      • PeterM
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think the “global elite” is much present on this blog.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 21, 2019 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

          When do you become “global elite” now is it £20 million, £200 million or 2 £Billion +?

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted April 22, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

            ‘Global elite’ is obviously pejorative.

            There is nothing negative at all having £20 million to £2 Billion – as long as that money was earned honestly / diligently and that money (and everything that goes with it) isn’t treated as the most important thing in life.

            And one has to ask why wealthy business people are being given knighthoods whilst taking most of their money out of the country and / or doing little to help / advise government with real help about how best to help entrepreneurs and people in business in this country?

            The working class need to be respectful of their employers and not be jealous of those who do well. But EQUALLY with privilege comes responsibility and those who accept knighthoods have a responsibility not just towards those below them but also to their country.

            (And just as we have to keep an eye on cheats on the lower rung of society so we have to keep an eye on cheats on the higher rung of society – and in the middle rungs of society as well).

    • Hope
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      In Spain politicians are banned from talking about mass immigration on TV during the elections!

      We had the same here under Labour smearing anyone as racist, bigots etc (PM Gordon Brown) if it criticised immigration. UN migration pact wanting it to be illegal. EU stating third world mass immigration is necessary, inevitable and desirable. All having an impact on housing and public services. Then we have the idiot Lammy claiming people wanting to leave the EU are racist! Do not worry the EU only harvest 80 percent of our fish from our waters to feed them! Apparently a price worth paying.

      • margaret howard
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

        Hope

        ” Do not worry the EU only harvest 80 percent of our fish from our waters to feed them! Apparently a price worth paying.”

        80%? Do you have a source for this figure? And does that include the fish from areas allocated to our fishermen under the EU fisheries policy who then chose to sell them on for a quick profit?

  6. J Bush
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    The problem is that the Conservative party has been infiltrated and taken over by socialists.

    The evidence is there in their high taxation, identity politics, political correctness, Room 101 micro-management of our lives. The list is endless.

    The likes of May, Hammond & Co are in the wrong party, but they knew if they joined a party their policies are better suited to, they would never be able to get their mitts on the levers of power.

    The situation is not going to improve until they are removed.

    • acorn
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      As we are at the time that is considered by some to be, sort of, “Easter”, should we not go for a “commencement order” for the Easter Act 1928?

  7. Oliver
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Maybe, to attract “Kind Young Capitalists” we all need to recognize the insanity of imagining owning a house that appreciates 10-20 fold in value over 20,30,40 years of simple ownership doesn’t equate to wealth creation of a sort the tax systemn should reward…

    Introduce lifetime retrospective cgt on property gains, to be paid by inheritor at say 10% of the liability per annum to force the gains to be productively used not merely next generation feather bedding.

    Happy Easter!

  8. Newmania
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Our own MP in two of her outings in the National Press managed to link immigration and housing costs in the first paragraph. Migration is a marginal factor, overall the population has increased by about 1om from 57m to 67m since 1960 ( roughly ) during which time the cost of a house has gone form one decent salary to about ten. (In our area of the South East anyway). Plenty of houses have been built in that period as well.
    No-one can really afford to see house prices drop now they are the only capital most people have and with pensions having disappeared,
    The miserable housing market after many years of plateau shows a loss of confidence in the economy . God knows what the next few years will bring and the majority who see this crazed Policy of isolation for the disaster it is should not be forced to bear the cost

    • Chris S
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Your take on this issue is just plain wrong, as usual, Newmania.

      The requirement to house more than 200,000 net immigrants almost exactly equates to the housebuilding shortfall over the last 10 years. Eliminate the influx and the shortage of new properties is less than 20,000 units pa – a figure that could easily be satisfied with a little easing of planning restrictions. In fact, it would best be solved by funding Housing Associations to resume building again.

      That would have a lesser impact on house prices, a matter of real concern to the large number of Conservative voters who do not want to see the value of their biggest asset reduced dramatically.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      A marginal demand can have a huge impact on price. It only takes one extra bidder to drive on an auction to top of market and beyond, especially on an essential item.

      Since people started leaving wages have gone up and house prices down.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      So if plenty of houses have been built and immigration has had only a marginal effect, so it’s not supply and it’s not demand, then why have house prices gone up ? Any ideas ? No …. thought not.

      • Newmania
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        Roy Grainger
        You may “think-not” I do not share your difficulty . House prices are a factor of household creation and the single largest factors have been a revolution in the average household size since the war and credit
        In terms of overall numbers House building hit a boom in the 60s and has usually been well above 150,000 pa .I doubt that less than 6m have been built the period that the population increased by 10m. Average Household size is still way above 2 so the rate of House building versus Population has nothing to do with any major step change

      • Mark
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        Because of the supply of mortgage finance. You can find the figures at the Bank of England web site statistics database. Search for B3C2, VTVU and you will get monthly and quarterly data on numbers of mortgage approvals and the total value of those approvals. Divide the value by the number of approvals in a spreadsheet to get the average size of mortgage granted. Compare with Nationwide House price, and you will immediately see the correlation – including the house price falls that followed the financial crisis in 2009. House prices are driven by how much banks are prepared to lend to buy a house. You cannot pay what you cannot finance.

      • Andy
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        It is not primarily not migration which is causing the supply and demand issue.

        The two big drivers are hugely increased life expectancy and the way people are choosing to live.

        Most government policies – including on housing – were established on the basis that the average person would live to around 65-70. Now life expectancy is over 80. There are more than 10 million extra people in this older age group and the government did not plan for them to be here.

        How we are living also has had an impact. Families used to stay together or nearby. Now many younger people would prefer to live alone in their 20s. Not until later do they want a family home. Many pensioners live alone too – even though we have few homes for single people. Throughout governments of all colours have failed to build enough of the right types of homes.

        It is these factors and not immigration which has affected housing. In other words most of the people who contribute to this blog are the problem.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 21, 2019 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

          Amazing you blame old people again Andy despite the biggest increase in the UKs population in its history since 2000.
          Nearly 20 years of net immigration of over 200,000 per year has no impact on demand for housing you claim.
          I agree single living, family breakups and longer life expectancy has an effect but it is mainly about numbers and the inability of the house building industry to be able keep up with the huge numbers of extra homes needed.

        • Steve
          Posted April 21, 2019 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

          Andy

          “It is not primarily not migration which is causing the supply and demand issue.”

          It’s greed, nothing else.

          “In other words most of the people who contribute to this blog are the problem.”

          No one is forcing you to come on here Andy.

        • Fred H
          Posted April 21, 2019 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

          Andy… You make a number of points which you may not have intended.
          The uncontested increase in population, mostly in the southeast(?) certainly created housing demand. Our young people, say 2o to 35 are much much more likely to be living with parents or sharing with others in similar predicament. Government lead banking finance has made it so difficult to borrow required funds. Deposit saving is hopeless for most people. Rents rise due to scarcity. General living costs in the SE hit so hard. The retired or soon to, examine the market and discover that the capital in their home is not nearly enough to encourage downsizing. The alternative is to move away to locations with no facilities, just when the older age group are likely to need them. So, family homes continue to be owned by older couples, or sadder, one on their own. For far to many years government and local authorities have denied quite reasonable garden development etc. However smallish builders have little trouble getting through planners obstacles, management eyeing the Schedule 106 income. Turning to the big builders laying waste to our green and pleasant land, the unacceptable disgraceful fault ridden new homes, while Chairmen pocket £100m per annum. Seems to me there is enough here to explain the circular mess we are in, some could have been headed off, some still needs to be, but political inactivity is destroying the hopes and ambitions of the younger and middle aged generations. Protest in so many aspects of political action/inaction is the only hope. It doesn’t look good, does it?

        • Mark
          Posted April 21, 2019 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

          Sorry, but that is a load of unsubstantiated assertion that bears no relation to the demographic history, or the history of the supply of housing. Since WWII, we had a period of very high levels of housebuilding that was motivated by replacing war damaged homes and by a relatively rapidly growing population – the baby boom years through to 1970. Rising longevity has had a very slow impact on the population: the number of deaths is far more stable than the number of births, or the levels of net migration – it is the easiest source of population change to plan for. Births fell sharply in the 1970s. Nevertheless, the housing stock continued to grow faster than the population: in 1971 there were 2.9 people per dwelling, and the number has been stable since about 2000 at 2.3, so housebuilding has kept up with population growth even during the property boom this century. The idea that there is some housing shortage driving prices ever higher is a myth, easily disproved by the periods of price falls when housebuilding also fell, yet the population pressures were much the same. The reality is that housebuilders do not build unless they can cover the cost of the land and building: if they pay too much for land and prices fall it pays them not to build. Housebuilding is in any case a much smaller source of vacant homes for first time occupiers (perhaps via a chain) than executor sales.

          In the mean time I suggest you do some research at ONS on population and household sizes, and DCLG on housing statistics, and follow up on the BoE/Nationwide data I suggested above, which statistically accounts for over 95% of price variation.

      • margaret howard
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

        Roy Grainger

        “So if plenty of houses have been built and immigration has had only a marginal effect, so it’s not supply and it’s not demand, then why have house prices gone up ? Any ideas ? No …. thought not.”

        Buy to let?

        Before the 1980s, the number of private landlords was very small

        Since the mid 1990s, buy-to-let has grown strongly with more than 1.7 million buy-to-let loans between 1999 and 2015. Over the past 12 years the private rented doubled in size. to more than £200 billion – equivalent to the gross domestic product of Hong Kong.

        With pensions gone that seems the only way people can afford to retire.

        Nothing to do with immigrants.

    • Stred
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      The graphs of house affordability and increase in net migration match, even for regions of the UK.

      • Steve
        Posted April 22, 2019 at 1:28 am | Permalink

        Stred

        So, are you saying migration i.e ‘from’ the UK causes house prices to drop ?

        Or do you mean immigration causes house prices to drop ?

        Noting that the BBC in it’s politically correct propaganda started using the word migration to describe immigration. Or perhaps as they often do, misspelt and used incorrect terminology to play down the truth.

        Example; to describe those attempting to the English Channel as migrants would suggest they are not intending to come to the UK, but intended to be off somewhere else, then, when we see images of the poor hard working non – EU souls slowly sinking, we’ll take pity.

        It’s called nudge politics. The BBC is doing it all the time, which puts them in breach of their charter. They did it with metrification, and with decimalisation.

        • Steve
          Posted April 22, 2019 at 1:29 am | Permalink

          sorry….should read attempting to ‘cross’ the English Channel.

  9. Christine
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Many landlords will sell up as the downside of renting out properties will soon outway the benefits. This will cause a shortage of properties to rent. If Labour get in they will impose even more restrictions with rent control and life tenancies. It wouldn’t surprise me if they gave them a right to buy scheme at a huge discount.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      And cheaper houses to buy. I don’t know anyone who likes renting.

    • Steve
      Posted April 22, 2019 at 1:42 am | Permalink

      Christine

      I’m a Landlord, and while I like to think I’m a decent one, I can tell you there are some real shysters out there who take vast amounts of money from the public purse in renting out absolute vermin infested hovels to people with no choice.

      It is those Landlords who’ve caused this trouble, and frankly less of them can only be a good thing.

  10. Julie Dyson
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    I’m not so sure I would use the phrase “a bit more affordable”. It seems to me that it would be more accurate to say they are “a bit less expensive”. There’s a world of difference — at least so far as the majority of ordinary folk are concerned, and certainly for young couples today looking to follow the route through life which my, somewhat older, generation took for granted. Times have certainly changed, and definitely not always for the better.

    The root of the problem is, was, and remains, net immigration in the hundreds of thousands per year. Tackle that fundamental problem while continuing to build new homes, and all the rest will balance itself out over time.

    • bigneil
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      And we’ll have some greenery left as well. How the hell are farmers supposed to grow our own produce when there are massive housing estates going up everywhere?

      • margaret howard
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

        Less than 10% of England is built on. Many say it is even as little as 3%.

      • Steve
        Posted April 22, 2019 at 1:47 am | Permalink

        Then again, it takes a farmer to sell his land for development in the first place. He’s long gone with the money and another piece of the countryside is ruined forever.

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    The Conservatives have stolen 16 of Labour polices claims Labour.

    Indeed and nearly all of them totally idiotic, wrong headed, unconservative and hugely damaging. But then May & Hammond are clearly red tape pushing, highest taxes for 70 years socialists loons who want the UK to be an anti-democratic vassal state – ruled by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.

    The Conservative Party did not respond to a request for comment it seems. Well what could they say other then “Yes all true, but you have to understant that this government is indeed led by lying, socialist, tax and regulate to death idots – just not quite as dire as the Corbyn and McDonnall ones”.

    Please, please get rid of Toxic May and tax to death Hammond and get some sensible pro democracy, small government Conservatives in charge.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      @Lifelogic,

      The Conservative Party is in CHAOS (not just what I think but what 99% of Conservatives I know believe).

      The Conservative Party needs a REVOLUTION – and that is to return to the values and vision of Edmund Burke.

      Unless Conservatives get serious now – this Conservative Party will go down as the most disastrous and shameful in history. It is coming close to its SELF-annihilation.

      Only a return to the vision and values of Edmund Burke can save it I believe.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        Returning properly to the values and vision of Edmund Burke won’t just save the Conservative Party but make it and the UK great.

    • Steve
      Posted April 22, 2019 at 2:01 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic

      “Please, please get rid of Toxic May and tax to death Hammond”

      Too late, the country is now in a terminal phase thanks to cowards, corrupt liars and England – haters in Parliament.

      Only thing you can do now is get revenge. Either at the ballot box, or physically rout them from office as and when it turns nasty in this country.

  12. Dominic
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    How will the property market (composed of free individuals spending their own money in a manner that suits their own needs) be affected by the election of ……..l Labour, a party immersed in and infused with a hatred for private property rights and the profit motive?

    What policies will Comrade McDonnell implement to undermine our property owning democracy?

    Ideas:

    Apply CGT on profit from the sale of your primary residence

    Criminalise certain private property rights?

    Limit the number of properties a person or company can legally own?

    Crush the private landlord using destructive policies designed to achieve such an outcome?

    Collectivise the property market by weakening private buying and massively expanding State owned estates with the aim of turning people into collectivist robots

    You destroy private property rights and the profit motive and you can wave goodbye to democracy and personal freedom and welcome in a new era of totalitarianism

    • Steve
      Posted April 22, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Dominic

      “You destroy private property rights and the profit motive and you can wave goodbye to democracy and personal freedom and welcome in a new era of totalitarianism.”

      It’s already happened Dominic. It started with Blair’s dematerialisation bill, which is why your property deeds were confiscated. Thus, you need to rely on Blair’s civil servants to prove you own the property.

  13. The Prangwizard
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Does Sir John support his government’s plan to destroy the residential lettings market by removing the right landlords currently have to gain possession at the end of the contractual term by stopping the use of section 21 notices.
    The remaining means are all open to abuse by tenants who will be able to plead for delay after delay. Costs will rise and freedom of contract is destroyed. Another Leftist policy from our fake Tories.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      One assumes not as he is neither a fool, nor a socialist unlike May, Hammond and the appalling Brokenshire.

      It is an appalling and idiotic proposal that will hurt tenants as well as landlords and damage the economy too. It will not even win votes!

    • Steve
      Posted April 22, 2019 at 2:14 am | Permalink

      Prangwizard

      I don’t see how it’ll work anyway. When you let a property for a contractual term, surely an adequate period of notice that no further contract was going to be offered would stand up to challenge ?

      However as a Landlord myself I make sure to conduct tenancy matters in a reasonable and generous way, and I’ve never had any problems.

  14. Pat
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    The only way to get more affordable housing for all is to build more housing of the type people want in the place that they want it.
    Sure house prices can be manipulated downwards by high mortgage costs of increased transaction costs, but that just means the seller gets less while the buyer pays the same.
    Schemes can be introduced to favour certain types of buyer, say first time buyers, but these are a cost to everyone else.
    Free up planning permission and the problem will solve itself. The cost is that those who have benefited from inflated house prices will lose that benefit.

    • Steve
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      Pat

      “The only way to get more affordable housing for all is to build more housing…..”

      Perhaps a start could be made by requisition of empty property, there’s loads of it throughout the country, yet people live on the streets.

  15. Nigl
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    And in the meantime they make life even more difficult for private landlords. You couldn’t make it up!

  16. Pete Else
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Expecting May’s government to have a coherent and rational policy on anything is optimistic in the extreme. Housing policy in the UK has been a mess for decades and this shower certainly won’t fix it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      They seem to want to make it worse.

  17. Original Richard
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    The easiest and best way to make housing more affordable is for the government to stop importing another 300K (net) people into the country each and every year.

    It would also help with improving our environment.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Foe more affordable houses you need more houses and flats or fewer people – it is hardly rocket science.

    • Original Richard
      Posted April 22, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      A government/country that has lost control of its borders and hence future population size (our government does not even know how many people there are in the country let alone who is in the country) is unable to plan for the future.

      Such loss of control makes it impossible to plan properly for future housing, schools, health, welfare and infrastructure (roads, water, sewage, power etc.) and the country will always be in crises rushing to correct shortages.

  18. javelin
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    A review of comments of an article in the Daily Express suggesting Sir John Redwood as a temporary Prime Minister to oversea the recalibration of the party got 100% approval.

    A lot of comments approved of you because you have been consistent on matters, you would not flip-flop like Remain2Leavers, or those who voted for May’s Neverendum Treaty and were seen as very trustworthy.

    If honesty, intelligence and trustworthiness were necessary qualities I cannot think of a better candidate.

    Reply Thank you, but they have not been requirements on the job advert in the past

    • James1
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Sir John,
      Did you get a reply from the Attorney General to your recent letter on the subject of Mrs May’s breathtakingly dire draft Withdrawal Agreement? Thought not. So many people feel they have not left the Conservative and Labour Parties. They feel the Conservative and Labour Parties have left them. Is it any wonder that the opinion polls are showing Voters switching in droves to the Brexit Party and UKIP

      ReplyI am still chasing his office for a reply

      • Fred H
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        Sir John, That says it all about our PM, Cabinet and Legal advice. Obfuscation.

    • miami.mode
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

      Brilliant response to javelin by our host.

    • Dunedin
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      Great idea, but why only temporary PM?

  19. forthurst
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    If the net effect of constraining bank lending to mortgagors is no increase in first time buyers, that is still beneficial because it means that buyers are having to hand over less of their income to banks who are effectively landlords charging rent by owning the title to property which they have purchased with money they themselves created.

    Further progress needs to be made to discourage rent-seeking by the use of stamp duty to load the upfront cost of buying a house other than to live in as a main home. Allowing the housing market to be driven by either banks or rent-seekers is undesirable. Nor should the government create a house price ratchet in order to protect one particular form of investment from risk.

  20. Chris S
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I see a businessman, John Elliott, is quoted in the Express as recommending that our host replace May as PM to deliver Brexit.

    Sounds good to me : as well as sorting Brexit, we would at last see some proper direction and common sense imposed on the Treasury by a PM who actually understands how the economy works. After the hopeless policies of the last two incumbents, Stamp Duty, CGT and VED would all be reduced to sensible levels that would increase the tax take rather than reduce it and stimulate the economy.

    I would also like to see a much-reduced rate of VAT on large home improvement schemes. It is ridiculous that if you demolish a house and build a new one on the site you pay no VAT, but build a big extension and you pay the full 20%.

    • sm
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Chris:

      1. I warmly second Mr Elliott’s proposal, but won’t be holding my breath…

      2. The tax system is insanely complicated and results in idiocies like the example of VAT you quoted – whatever happened to the Office of Tax Simplification?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      The Conservative MPs were so deluded a while back that they did not even prefer JR to the foolish, unapologetic, deluded dope John Major! So Tony Blair got 418 seats to 165 Conservatives under John Major. They have never had a decent majority since ever since. All was entirely predictable – but the foolish “Conservative” MPs preferred to go over the cliff with Major. Have they leaned anything this time it seems not so far?

  21. Tom Rogers
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Housing will never become affordable until mass immigration stops. Parliament can decide to stop it and the government and courts can enforce the law. This won’t happen, however, because MPs and the Establishment are in the pockets of big business.

    • Old person
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      It is not mass immigration that is the problem. Past governments have made insufficient provision to cover pension liabilities for the number of expected retirees. One working person can barely cover one pension (their own) let alone three or four pensions. This is all part of the economic kick-can-road theory. You need more people of working age actually working and paying tax to cover these liabilities.
      Look at your council tax breakdowns to see how much goes towards pensions. The lower effective police and fire service numbers reflect this despite above inflation increases to the precept. This is why IHT allowance rates are static and probate can now cost up to £2,500.
      If it is bad here in the UK, the problems are far worse in southern Europe where you have large numbers of fit, well-educated young people unable to find meaningfully paid work matching their skills.
      Leave the EU on a WTO deal or those EU liabilities will become ours.

      • Tom Rogers
        Posted April 22, 2019 at 4:11 am | Permalink

        The piece I commented on is about housing. I don’t understand what your comment has to do with it or how it contradicts what I said. Even if what you say is true, it doesn’t mean mass immigration is not a major factor.

        Mass immigration causes demand for living space. It stands to reason that mass immigration will have an effect on housing demand and that lowering immigration (I would favour stopping it) would reduce demand for housing. Obviously, it’s complex because it wouldn’t necessarily lessen demand for new-build housing: that turns on other factors. I’m not pretending that immigration is the only factor.

        • Old person
          Posted April 22, 2019 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

          Sorry Tom, I was not disagreeing with you, but trying to make the point that politicians of all flavours will tolerate mass immigration as this is one way of funding the coming pension shortfall.
          Sadly, our governments have never put money aside to sufficiently fund pensions. All money from NI goes straight into the tax pot – not actually saved for state/civil service pensions. The current tax take pays for today’s pensions. Soon there will be too many pensioners for taxpayers to support.
          I agree, mass immigration can easily be stopped, if the will was there.
          Just look at the scrambling for a solution – raise the pension age to 70, play lip service to the waspi women, probate fees, static IHT, increasingly unfair taxes.
          Doing nothing about mass immigration suddenly looks attractive.
          And, of course, housing becomes a crisis as everyone needs a home. Your point exactly.

  22. Polly
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Let’s hope Nigel Farage obliterates LabLibCon !

    No personal offence intended, perhaps you could move to the Brexit Party ?

  23. ukretired123
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Happy Easter Sir John!
    At last you are being recognised as the last man standing up for the country when all the shallow thinkers ideas have been exposed. I myself did not realise you had written some serious books warning folks of the dangers facing the country years ago.
    Hammond has hampered housing with Stamp Duty and has been a negative chancellor on many other fronts it seems to ensure Remainers warnings on Brexit come true.
    Despite his worst efforts the economy driven by ordinary citizens has performed amazingly well all things considered.

  24. Simeon
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    What kind of party desires a leader that, whatever they might be, needn’t be intelligent or honest? What kind of country condones false and stupid politics? What hope is there for such a party, and indeed such a country? Is democracy capable of supplying the kind of hope we need?

    • Fred H
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      and we all laughed about those basket case, micky mouse run countries. May & co have wiped the grin off our faces.

  25. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    We definitely want this trend of a gentle decline in house prices relative to inflation to continue for a very long time. A slow but steady rise in base rate, eventually to inflation plus half a percent, plus reduced immigration, should do the trick. The instruction to banks to require large deposits should be withdrawn unconditionally. The requirement favours the ultra-rich, whose daddies can pay the deposit, over the middle classes. It is a vote loser, which goes a long way to explaining why the Conservatives have a majority only among the over 55s.

  26. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Housing. You can increase supply or reduce demand (or both). The government’s policy of reducing supply via assorted penalties on landlords and increasing demand by allowing tax breaks for overseas buyers seems misguided.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      There are no tax breaks for overseas buyers now at all quite the reverse.

  27. Gareth Warren
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    It is welcome that housing has become more affordable, although average prices today are high at 10x earnings where they used to be around 3x earnings.

    The reason for this is simple, too much demand with foreign buyers in London and large immigration elsewhere in the country pushing prices up, cheap credit just makes it worse.

    While I am no fan of taxes its clear less stamp duty would just push up prices, and taxing the speculative foreign buyers is healthy. While we have today’s high immigration a reduction in stamp duty would not be positive, prices would rise to absorb it.

    What we do need is an immigration policy that requires people to only qualify by being needed, that does not mean we need qualifications, but for industry to value those people over a long period of time with an above average salary. I woould say a minimum of 30k a year outside of London for 5-10 years to qualify.

    If we did that, a benefit only possible from leaving the EU, then we should talk loudly about the benefits of low immigration – lower cost of living and better wages. Houses while still valuable would fall over time encouraging people to invest savings in areas that offer a better return such as industry. Exposing labour as the party of cheap labour, which it is today, would force healthier politics too.

    And happy Easter!

  28. anon
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Reduce immigration-unless self financing.
    Abolish leasehold.
    Enable older average type thouseholders, for retirement reasons to move out of property hotspots, without stamp duty issues into any areas suffering de-population

    Reduce Council tax as a funding mechanism for supporting non-self supporting immigration outwith the UK and council pensions.

    Introduce the Scottish law equivalent or similar in England& Wales.
    Existing freehold HMG should purchase at cost and manage into vehicles controlled by residents. Ensuring any funds paid overseas have tax withheld.
    Clamp down on the sham of offshore secrecy. We all know its not good for us.

    Ensure full transparency of the costs of planning permission imposed on new build purchasers, per dwelling.
    Ensure that ongoing cross-subsidy of social housing, by others on same development, via capped charges, in shared development areas is outlawed.

    Land held speculatively should be taxed with a property land tax.

    Bring in maximum wage controls in the building sector for directors.

  29. Ted Treen
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    “When will the government listen..?”

    When indeed? I suppose it will happen sometime, but I doubt it will be in my lifetime.

  30. lojolondon
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    John, the last chancellor increased stamp duty just before the Brexit referendum, the present chancellor substantially increased the tax burden on landlords. I do not believe this was just poor timing, I believe this was to ‘demonstrate’ that Brexit will damage house prices. I have no doubt that any new chancellor will cut the costs of buying a house.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      What even John Mc Donnall?

  31. David Maples
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Don’t worry John, the tent cities will be setting up soon on the outskirts of London!

  32. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Well, Scottish youngsters have it easier. They don’t have student loans to pay back and in the majority of areas housing is much cheaper to start with. Same applies to the minimum wage. Money goes further in Scotland where even rent is cheaper. Farage is right when he wants the Barnet formula looked at. The English get a rough deal in so many ways and its about time it changed.

    • Nicholas Murphy
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Yet the SNP aren’t happy with the stable population. They want to import more EU nationals. I wonder what the electorate thinks about competition for housing?

    • Chris S
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      I suspect that the policy differences between Nigel and Sir John are minuscule and they could easily run a government together.

      It would take a seismic realignment for that to take place, though. More’s the pity.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      There is a triple whammy here.

      A Scottish youngster doesn’t need to pay back student debt (in my kid’s case £50k) and inheritance from gramps remains intact. (No care home fees.)

      Yet all silly Andy and all silly Newmania can bang on about is how stupid and intolerant we working class English are.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        The third of the whammies – no prescription charges.

        • Steve
          Posted April 21, 2019 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

          Anonymous

          Agreed, totally correct.

          Free prescriptions, no student debt, but not for the English……it’s blatant anti-English racism.

          Either Scotland (and Wales) should pay the same as us, or we should get ours free as well.

      • Andy
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        It is entirely reasonable for you to question why people in Scotland get the benefits you mention and you don’t.

        But you need to ask that question of the Conservative government in London which has basically been in power for almost a decade.

        They are the ones who can change things and they will not. And here is the problem. All of you want the ‘free stuff’ you and your family get from the state – pensions, healthcare, education and so on. Yet you do not want other people to have anything. Similarly you do not seem to understand that all of this ‘free stuff’ is not actually free. Someone has to pay for it. And yet you are outraged at how much you all pay.

        It genuinely is not rocket science. If you want to spend more you have to tax more. It is as easy as that.

        • Anonymous
          Posted April 21, 2019 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

          I don’t want anything ‘free’.

          I’ve been at work today (and all bank holiday for no extra pay.) Have you ???

          Carry on slapping us around the face, Andy.

          Mr Corbyn is coming to make things alright.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 21, 2019 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

          The point you miss Andy is that we in England already pay more but some of that goes off to Scotland where they get free stuff they dont have to pay extra for.
          If there was an equality of tax and spending throughout the United Kingdom it would be seen as a lot fairer by taxpayers in England.
          As you say, someone has to pay for it and disproportionately it is English taxpayers who fail to get the benefits Scottish citizens do.

          • Fred H
            Posted April 21, 2019 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

            and the SNP are now raising income tax. You couldn’t make it up.

        • Philip cadigan
          Posted April 21, 2019 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

          I want nothing from the state. You have an ambivalent relationship with it that I suggest you should examine.

      • Syd
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        Look, I’m fully supportive of everything Sir John offers in his blog.
        However, for the sake of accuracy please understand that the Scottish Govt only pays for the “Personal Care” of an old person in a Care Home. Currently this amounts to a maximum of £170 per week.
        We still had to pay £600 a week, (6 yrs ago), for our Mum’s residential care. We had to sell her flat in order to fund her care.
        Once her capital reduced to approx £18,000, the Local Authority stopped taking the £600 per week, but took most of her State Pension to help pay for her keep. She was left with £18 a week to pay for toiletries and clothes.
        Unfortunately she died before she could spend much of her £18,000 capital and this passed to her family.
        The SNP are happy to let you believe Care Home fees are free because it makes them look good, but it’s a lie – please don’t believe it.

      • Dunedin
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        Anonymous … and inheritance from gramps remains intact. (No care home fees.)”

        You might want to read the attached brochure from Age UK Scotland – Scots with savings/investments/property do have to pay care home and nursing home fees.

        https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/age-scotland/documents/ia—factsheets/care/care-5-care-home-guide-funding.pdf

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Indeed someone in London can often have a disposable income after housing, income tax, NI, commuting costs, council tax, NI and the likes of perhaps just £150 PW and yet they might be paying £600 PW in tax and NI. Whereas someone up north, with cheap housing might well have the same disposable income of £150, while paying just £50 in tax and NI. With Stamp duty rates so high people can often pay over 100% of their income in tax in the year they move homes.

      Where is the justice? Where too is the justice in some having hugely subsidised social housing when others on the same income have to pay the market rate and to subsidise these people from their taxes?

  33. Nicholas Murphy
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    ‘Some will say this is good news.’ Yep – it most certainly is. The Conservative Party needs to keep a laser-like focus on reducing the average age of the first-time buyer. Home-owners make for better communities.

  34. Mark
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    How far should we go? Low enough to mean that we can afford to buy a home, raise a family and save for a pension out of average incomes. When house prices are too high, then we can’t afford to do that, and so we have people not raising families because they do not have their own homes, or who are not saving sufficiently for a pension (especially since pensions have in more recent times been severely taxed, starting with Brown’s secret pension raid, and emulated by Osborne). Moreover, the risk is ever present that house prices will fall back to more fundamental values based on cost of construction. Look at what your house insurance would pay out for rebuilding as a guide to the extent of valuation risk. That risk is an important reason why many younger people are sensibly wary of paying inflated house prices. Of course, it is less painful to those who did buy at inflated prices if the fall in real price is stretched out, but the cost is denying those who were wiser the life they should have been having. I am not averse to people learning the lesson of the marketplace and rewarding those who showed better judgement.

    When people cannot afford to raise their own families, we end up with a shortage of young people joining the workforce. This has been the main driver of high levels of immigration, which concentrates on young adults to replace the children not born previously.

  35. Turboterrier.
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Sir John.

    No need to worry give it a few years when all these madcap schemes come into force about no gas heating and the like there will be loads of properties that will become empty because the owners will not be able to afford the energy and council tax payments together. This is what we will get when people like Lord Deben is allowed to run completely out of control with his Climate Change Committee.

    Housing is like cars it is not only the buying of them it is the running of them all those bills just waiting to fall onto the front door mat. The country should be worrying more about the here and now getting the country really prosperous so that youngsters can pay off their university bills and even begin to think about saving to purchase a property.

    The cost to the country for all these protesters could be better spent as this lot of green disciples will soon be leaving to fly off on their state paid for summer breaks. If they want to change things really change them go and protest in China, India and the USA. People like this are an open sore on how this country throws away money which could be better spent on providing more affordable properties. When you add all the other project HS2 and electric vehicles etc I think along with thousand s that this country has done more than its fair share for the planet. Lets stop the waste and build homes thousands of them.

    Wind up or what?

  36. Monza 71
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if Boris’s Water Cannon have actually been broken up yet ?

    Kahn foolishly sold them for a reputed £3,675 each to a scrap merchant, losing around £300,000 in the process.

    They seem to be just what’s needed to move on those annoying protestors clogging up London this weekend.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      The protesters are supported by the establishment.

      Vote properly but deliver the ‘wrong’ result – get utter disrespect.

      Middle class vegans kick off and the police join them !

  37. hans christian ivers
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Sir JR,
    Good input and contribution to an important debate .

    thank you

  38. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Can’t see it happening with this crew. They are in any event near o the end of the road. Taking on Corbyn’s ideas for everything will end in a replacement party taking root.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted April 21, 2019 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      ‘end in a replacement party taking root’

      – What replacement party? Same people, just different political party name.

      We need someone with vision – and with the vision of Edmund Burke who represents the best values of British Conservatism but who Conservatives today seem to be largely ignoring. This is the great tragedy of modern British Conservative Politics.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted April 21, 2019 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        (Whilst at same time being left with a ghastly Marxist Labour Party – things just couldn’t be worse – a kind of spiralling nightmare)

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted April 21, 2019 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

          Whoops, apologies for the rant

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted April 21, 2019 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

            And there is far too much spin in politics today as opposed to the hard-won WISDOM of Conservatives such as Burke.

            Burke was far from perfect, but he definitely had a positive vision and values for British Conservatism and this country overall.

  39. mancunius
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    I’ve calculated that a UK median wage earner’s net earnings will be a princely £23,699, and his extra 3.4% will amount to a net sum of £818 after tax.
    Which will barely cover extra rises in basics, including rent, transport and home energy (whose cost is driven constantly upwards by government ‘green levies’ and sourcing demands on the energy companies, and by government insistence that those companies subsidise their favoured benefit-recipient clients by charging higher costs to energy households that do not claim benefits).

    Even if Mr Median were able to save all of his £818 (some hope), it would be a drop in the ocean for a mortgage deposit. He could realistically hope to borrow between £96,000 and £133,000. He will therefore need a very hefty deposit for any home in the UK, particularly in the southeast – particularly with the new techniques estate agents are using for driving up the price of properties for sale. I doubt Mr Median will see property as ‘more affordable’.

    What is needed, frankly, is another crash, one that this time does not leave the banks to extend and pretend, nor allows over-borrowers to get away with their ill-got gains. Otherwise, you just have an ever-narrowing social circle selling to each other.

  40. Ian Pennell
    Posted April 21, 2019 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John Redwood,

    A policy that could be a true game- changer for the Conservatives in terms of electoral appeal to younger people would be one whereby the Government borrows £150 billion (by selling bonds to from the UK market) up-front to pay for the building of three million EXTRA new homes at a cost of £50,000 each to be sold to first-time buyers for just £50,000 (the Government does not make a profit). There should be a deposit for just £5,000, which would raise £15 billion for the three million extra new homes and this money would be used to pay for training up the one million extra joiners, bricklayers, electricians, plumbers, etc. that will be needed. The borrowed money would be repaid upon completion of this massive house- building scheme (which should be completed by around 2025).

    Alternatively, selling the remaining stakes in part-nationalised banks would raise over £20 billion for the Exchequer- and this could pay for one million extra two -year Apprenticeships in these vital areas over the next few years (with the Apprentices paid £10,000 per annum).

    Such a massive house- building scheme would be truly radical and it would help the Conservatives appeal to all those younger voters who have flocked to Labour in recent years: It would also help to boost the UK economy, bring about downward pressure on house prices elsewhere (through increasing the supply of homes) and go some way towards “capitalising” younger and poorer voters. Since voters only really get behind Capitalism and regularly vote “Conservative” if they have capital it means that a policy of mass Capitalisation of the Voters will greatly boost Conservative Party prospects (and the economy) in the future.

    Ian Pennell

    • Fred H
      Posted April 22, 2019 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Ian.. You want to build 3m homes during the next 5 years? What about the fact that is 3 x current rate at 600k per year? What about the existing building progress being made or planned over similar timeframes? Where do we obtain the land to meet such expectations? How do you imagine it can be done for £50k per house? Presumably no iron-curtain style concrete tower blocks? Who is going to train the million trades apprentices over the 2 year scheme? Is this after the great building program, or before? Where are the million coming from? Post school age PS4/Xbox game playing youngsters? Or persuading them to give up existing jobs? What about immigrants? Do you ban them from the scheme? Perhaps from the over-55 ranks of redundant job-seekers who in this crazy society are deemed unemployable? Just a few thoughts on the proposition you present.

  41. Punter
    Posted April 22, 2019 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    Bank of England policy is a disaster and would be more so if we were going to leave the EU at all. We would not be ready under its policy for we would need more money available in the system throughout, immediately.
    One gets the impression the policy has been enacted on a sure assumption we will be staying in the EU. Perhaps someone high up in government assured the policy-makers this would be the case irrespective of democratic votes to the contrary.
    One cannot think who that persons or persons could be. But we may guess.

  42. APL
    Posted April 22, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    JR: “When will the government listen to the need to cut Stamp duties some more?”

    When will your administration stop its twin attack on the affluence and well being of the British population?

    On the one hand, you inflate the currency as a matter of government policy: 2 – 3% decline in the purchasing power of a British citizen’s savings.

    As a result a £ buys less and prices go up to compensate.

    On the other hand, you destroy the ability of the British worker to command a reasonable wage, by virtue of unlimited immigration which undercuts the employee.

    Stop pretending to care about those that can’t afford to do this or do that, because it is your policies that lead to this situation.

    Like every other aspect of Politics, our so called ‘representatives’ wring their hands and say one thing, then go off and do exactly the opposite.

    At the same time as feathering their own circumstances at the public expense.

  43. Ed Mahony
    Posted April 22, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    1. Sovereignty 2. Immigration were two great reasons for Brexi (immigration because of lack of housing – and owning your own property should be a basic of being British).

    But Brexit is so complicated that we ALWAYS needed a proper plan for it to succeed.

    1/ 52/48 is LEGALLY a win but PRACTICALLY / MORALLY it’s a fail. You need about 60% win to create the momentum to get Brexit over the line – because for many people – in particular middle class and working class parents aged 30 and 40 – Brexit is HUGE. People have already gone through a terrible recession / austerity. They will fight tooth and nail – for sake of their CHILDREN – against any mayhem that a disorderly Brexit would bring to this country for a few years.

    2. You need to build up the economy for Brexit. Because then the hit won’t be so bad leaving the EU. And so much easier to get Brexit over the line. But we have to have a proper debate how to build up the economy. It’s not enough just to reduce taxes (one way or another that just leads to boom bust). We have to build up our high tech / digital sector leading to high value exports etc .. And we can only build up this creative sector through government doing very careful but creative investment in this sector – and then the private sector takes over. The Israeli gov did a great job here turning Tel Aviv into major world tech hub.

    I strongly, passionately support the UK leaving the EU – for Sovereignty reasons (for ethical and practical reasons) and Immigration reasons (above all because of the housing crisis) reasons but EQUALLY strongly, passionately believe we need a proper plan in place and with a strong leader (Boris Johnson is not a strong leader – he’s just a charming, newspaper hack / political spin doctor or sorts – even Churchill, who people compare Johnson to, was a war-time leader not a peacetime leader who was fighting the Nazis – and to compare Brexit to WW2 is absurd and an insult to all those fine men who lost their lives in that war).

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted April 22, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      And in a fight between mothers (backed up by their husbands) aged 30 and 40 with the older population say those in their 50’s and 60’s who voted for Brexit, the mothers (and fathers) will win hands down. They will fight tooth and nail for their children and their future. I think a lot of Brexiters failed to take this into account such strong human passions as these.

      Again, I strongly, passionately support Brexit (for ethical and practical reasons) but it has to have a proper plan – like anything in life – business, science, the military – otherwise it will be ruthlessly opposed, in particular by those parents in their 30’s and 40’s already struggling with mortgages and so on.

      This is just COMMON SENSE.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted April 22, 2019 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      (Apologies for rant .. but there are so many really important issues in the country that need to be addressed and resolved right now, the list is just stacking up, and Brexit needs to be resolved, the only way i can see it being resolved long-term, from a Brexiter POV, is a proper plan in place and we’re nowhere near at moment i think)

      (And we have a ghastly Marxist Labour Party looming in the background that I find pretty spooky in this day and age – Marxism in this country should be long gone – I greatly worry for the future – and for the Tory Party – and I know there are many, many Conservatives who share the same concerns)

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    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.

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