My speech during the debate on Planning Decisions: Local Involvement, 21 June 2021

I support the Government’s passion for home ownership. They are right that we need to do more to extend that opportunity to a new generation. It was, after all, an opportunity that previous generations took advantage of, enjoying the pleasures that can come from owning one’s own home and doing with it rather more of the things one wishes to do.

I support the Government’s wish to bring forward more brownfield development, because there are still many sites around the country that could be tidied up and better used. I trust that, within that, the Government wish to ease the planning system sufficiently so that where we need to convert tired or redundant commercial buildings into residential properties there will be no great planning impediment in doing so.

I strongly support the wish of the Government to do something extra to make sure that developers with planning permissions build out the permissions they have under a proper local plan. In the borough of Wokingham, of which I represent a part, we have been afflicted in recent years by some landowners and developers gaming the system. Thousands of planning permissions are outstanding, and yet the local plan, which tries to protect areas, has been overwhelmed at times by people lodging appeals on land not within the local plan for development and inspectors deciding that we did not have enough land because of the slow rate of build against all the permissions that are there.

Above all, we need a planning system that can reconcile our wish to protect the green gaps, the green fields, the farms and the woods—indeed, to expand the woods—and at the same time to make enough land available for housing. The Office for National Statistics has shown that, in the year to March 2020, we welcomed some 715,000 extra people into our country.

Although 403,000 people also left, that meant that there were still 312,000 extra people to house, and not all of those going freed up homes in the right place for the incomers. We need to have sustainable immigration. Of course we need to welcome people into our country, but they should expect decent standards of housing, and the gap is too large. We now have a backlog of demand and need, and if we keep inviting in hundreds of thousands of extra people, we are not going to catch up. I urge the Government to make things easier so that the trade-offs between environmental protection and more concrete for housing are not so difficult.

Finally, on levelling up, which I strongly support, over the years a large number of executive homes have been built in Wokingham and places like it, attracting people with great qualifications—people capable of commanding well above average earnings. We need to provide that kind of housing if we wish to attract companies and the investment to level up, and we should not put all that housing into the areas that have already been very successful.

84 Comments

  1. DOM
    June 22, 2021

    ‘but they should expect decent standards of housing’. Why?

    I grew up in a two up, two down terraced with outside toilet and no bathroom. One kitchen and one front room. 6 children and Mum and Dad. Were we impoverished, underprivileged and hard done by? Erm, no we weren’t. My parents worked hard 24-7. They worked hard to clothe us, feed us and house us. We were safe, we were well fed and we grew up in a tight community with a strong work ethic without ANY SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT. Yes, Mr Socialist Tory…NO SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT

    We embraced education, hard work and a strong moral character.

    Today? All my brothers, sisters and parents have succeeded in their objectives, their careers and all own their own homes

    We we’re not VICTIMS (the new politics of division) nor did we suffer from poverty (another source of political weaponry of the bastard left). Yes, we had little in material terms but that meant nothing. We had food, warmth, safety and decent neighbours. That is what really mattered

    We have all succeeded because we worked hard. We never once listened nor took notice of the shite pumped out by Labour. Indeed politics and politicians were despised. Only Thatcher’s values chimed with us for she talked the language of the civil world, human values, an apolitical culture, individualism and personal responsibility. All this has been targeted by both rancid parties to stoke State dependency

    We are now in the midst of an evil politics whose aim is politicisation and State control and your party Mr Redwood is complicit in that politics

    1. Micky Taking
      June 22, 2021

      You never mentioned handouts. Oh! Of course, I forget, there weren’t any when we grew up and HAD to make our way in the world. Now it’s ‘what benefits can I claim’, ‘we are under-privileged’,’ the State ignores us’ and ‘I want to be a celebrity’.

    2. Jim Whitehead
      June 22, 2021

      DOM, +1, and very well put, your emphasis is fully justified.

    3. MFD
      June 22, 2021

      +1. I must agree with DOM, work hard and you will achieve, you will also appreciate what you get. The state support has gone too far. The lazy must realise one must fight for what you earn, no handouts!

    4. jerry
      June 22, 2021

      @DOM; “grew up in a two up, two down terraced with outside toilet and no bathroom.”

      My father grew up in a two room north country crofters tied farm cottage, but he never had the chip on his shoulder that you seem to have, he understood that betterment doesn’t just come about via ‘hard work’ alone.

      “My parents worked hard 24-7”

      Stop lying, or at least exaggerating, if they had actually done what you claim they would have been dead within 6 months!…

      “We we’re not VICTIMS”

      You sure of that, you and your siblings? Were your parents living in what ever housing was available, or what ever they could afford to rent because they were paid so little for all their hard work – unless (sorry to say) there was another reason why your parents chose to live in cheaper LQ accommodation – either way it sounds very much as if you and your siblings were victims, either due to landlord, employer or other. Exactly what both Labour and Tory manifestos of 1945 pledged to end, hence the “Parker Morris Committee” of 1961, yet you seem intent on wanting to go back to the era of the two up, two down (back-to-back?) terraced with no bathroom housing that was being demolished (or at least modernised) even before WW2.

      “We have all succeeded because we worked hard.”

      But what did they, and you, work hard at, that is the real issue today, the world of work is not what it used to be. Many people, young and middle-aged (have) work hard too but some can’t even pay full rent for a studio flat [1], never mind buy one, on a NMW and/or ZHC job.

      [1] hence the ballooning Housing Benefit budget

      1. Peter2
        June 24, 2021

        Why so aggressive Jerry?
        Accusing people of lying, having a chip on their shoulder etc.
        Just try to imagine when you write your responses that you are chatting to that person face to face.

    5. steve
      June 22, 2021

      DOM

      +1, well said Sir, wholly accurate and wholly justified.

      Same for us too. We had little in the way of material things, but were just as you say fed clothed and safe.

      My guess is that you might be of the Green Shield Stamp generation, or perhaps even before that ? In any case we learned valuable life skills such as mend and make do, and the ethic of graft for a living.

      Incidentally, nobody pulled a knife on anoyne, and any individual who rarely did was either outcast as a cowardly scumbag of the lowest order or was turned in by the community.

      Makes you wonder how the hell we ever dropped our guard and let the political class wreck everything.

      I don’t think we’ll ever get back what we had, it’s over.

      1. J Bush
        June 23, 2021

        +1 Ditto

    6. Alan Jutson
      June 22, 2021

      DOM
      +1
      Exactly how it was for our family, and many others in our road as well !.

    7. J Bush
      June 23, 2021

      I remember as a child seeing my breath as I went upstairs to the loo, because the only rooms that had heat was the sitting room, which had an open fire and the kitchen, when Mum was cooking. A recent chat with one of my siblings revealed we both wrote our names on the ice on the bedroom window. In the summer we played in the nearby woods, making dens in the bracken, paddling in the river Dibbin, climbing trees and catching tiddlers and frogspawn on the local pond. Happy times despite being poor.

      1. Micky Taking
        June 23, 2021

        But you had a secure family, with neighbours in much the same boat? It was safe to have children play outside, no risk of cars, motorbikes, cycles hitting them. Pleasures were simple, education was being told what to do, what to learn, a visiting inspector to homes if you didn’t turn up. Parents visibly cared for their children, read to them, ate with them ,talked to them. Religion was never feared -take it or leave it no pressure. Everybody could speak English, little was acquired by importing. Our best brains invented a high proportion of things, like the Germans did. We ‘led the World and was respected for fairness, justice, humanity to all’. How times change.

  2. Newmania
    June 22, 2021

    In the year 2020 net inward migration was indeed 313,000, but by the end of 2020 Britain had almost a million fewer non-UK-born residents than a year earlier; the largest annual fall in since the war.
    It is therefore a very odd time for John Redwood to blame immigration for high housing costs. In fact In a period of historically high migration since 2010, property prices were, last year,1% down after inflation ( Nationwide ).
    The Housing market, in any case responds or aggregate demand and supply created by all buyers and suppliers! It is not a queue foreigners jump leaving BRITISH folk homeless.
    We can see this if take a longer perspective. In 1960 the UK population was 52m It is now about 68m in that time the rate of house building has fluctuated, but it is certainly quicker than the rate of growth of population ( I reckons about 7.5 of the 25m, units ). In that time compared to average salary the cost of a house has multiplied up to ten times in hot spots .
    Old age, late marriage smaller Households credit and capital are the main factors migration is part of the picture but I really think this sort of material is ‘unhelpful’.

    1. Peter2
      June 22, 2021

      In the middle of a pandemic many naturally went home to their families and friends in their homelands.
      Many found their workplace was closed.
      However it still leaves an increase in population since 2000 of many millions of new arrivals.
      I have no problem with those who decided to make the UK their home.
      But desperately trying to argue these millions had little or no effect is ridiculous NM

  3. Narrow Shoulders
    June 22, 2021

    There is little point building houses up North until there are jobs up North with which to pay for those houses. Chicken and egg. Is that why your government is floating the idea of everyone working from home? So they can live elsewhere?

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      June 22, 2021

      Pity the shop workers and other “key workers” up North when the Soithern exodus prices them out of homes as has been done in the South.

      1. DavidJ
        June 22, 2021

        +1

    2. Mark B
      June 22, 2021

      The roads, canals and railways always brought jobs and increases in house prices. Today better links and internet, along with public services, are the way to attract investment. That and lower taxes free ports and enterprise zones would bring.

      Scotland, Wales and Ulster can all change their tax rates. It is high time that local government were encouraged to do the same and compete for business to come and invest.

    3. steve
      June 22, 2021

      NS

      “Is that why your government is floating the idea of everyone working from home? So they can live elsewhere?”

      No…..it’s so the government can to claim to have created jobs for people and reduced unemployment.

  4. a-tracy
    June 22, 2021

    “I support the Government’s wish to bring forward more brownfield development”.

    Perhaps you should open up a portal where people can suggest ‘brownfield developments’ they would like to see redeveloped within 2 miles of where they live. That would be interesting.

    I can think of one place immediately. It is an eyesore, an area that attracts regular misbehaviour, someone was killed there by teenagers late at night recently. Just this last weekend three teenagers were climbing up the railings to get onto the building roof and encouraging other less adventurous teens to climb up with them. I turned to two of them and shook my head and said let them break their neck you stay safe. My husband said I was turning into a busy body but then I read a 13-year-old girl died falling off a roof the same weekend. I then watched two teens climb on top of large wheely bins and were about to race them across the car park full of potholes. No one cares about these areas they’ve been the same for thirty years. The people that own the properties said twenty years ago they would make a difference they didn’t other than getting themselves awarded best employers around.

  5. Alan Jutson
    June 22, 2021

    A good summery of the local situation John.

    Perhaps the Council could now spend some of the money gained from all this new housing, in fixing our roads which are now in a dire state of repair, indeed the worst I have seen in the 40 years as a resident.

    1. Lifelogicc
      June 22, 2021

      Highest taxation for 70 years. Dire potholed roads, an NHS that fails millions, police who are no longer remotely interested in most crimes (unless they can fine you), hugely inefficient defence spending, countless dire & second rate schools and mainly duff university degree of little or no value… but £Trillions to waste on testing healthy people for Covid, a now counterproductive lockdown, net zero Carbon lunacy, NHS, wind, solar and electric car grants and other lunacy.

      Meanwhile we are around mid-summers day & yet my wife has even put the heating on (albeit without my permission). Where is this climate change?

      1. J Bush
        June 23, 2021

        +10
        You clearly set the failures of this and previous governments. This is because nearly all the people elected have never worked in the real world. Even less have created, built up and run a successful business. They remind me of children let loose in a sweet shop.

  6. MARG
    June 22, 2021

    We need houses with land . To attract high earners ,space for swimming pools , gardens for home grown veg , play areas for kids is required. If houses with triple garages , 6 bedrooms etc are all squashed together , the desirability is lost . MACRON HAS LOST I SEE.

    1. MiC
      June 22, 2021

      Twitch, twitch, twitch go those curtains yet again…

      1. Peter2
        June 22, 2021

        Bizarre comment MiC
        Which translates to
        Shhhh, dont talk about anything controversial.

    2. jon livesey
      June 22, 2021

      Well, double good news there. France says Macron is the problem, but Le Pen is not the answer. The French may be unpleasant, but they are not fools.

  7. Lifelogicc
    June 22, 2021

    How much land did the appalling HS2 project (for little or no benefit). How many three bed family houses can be build for the ÂŁ100 Bn the end cost of HS2 – answer about 670,000 small detached houses.

    1. Lifelogicc
      June 22, 2021

      These could be sold for well over the ÂŁ100 bn too. For HS2 you would be lucky to get 10% of the cost of it when finally finished if sold. The houses could have been build well within a year too. All about sensible priorities but not for most politicians it seems.

    2. DavidJ
      June 22, 2021

      HS2 should have been binned long ago. After the referendum vote would have been good since it is an EU dream.

      1. Lifelogic
        June 22, 2021

        Covid was the perfect excuse to ditch it too.

      2. J Bush
        June 23, 2021

        It should be put to referendum and let those who are expected to pay for it decide if they want their money spent this way.

  8. George Brooks.
    June 22, 2021

    Your speech Sir John clearly illustrates that we do not have joined up government and until we do we will continue to lurch from crisis to crisis. In the year to March 2020 we built a net number of 247,000 houses and as you stated we gained an extra 312,000 people to accommodate. Depending if there were, say, 2 or 4 to a household then we only had between a 100 to 170,000 additional houses built for existing residents.

    You are right that controlled immigration is key factor in the housing crisis and which we do not have, by any stretch of imagination. We allow thousands in with time limited visas and then lose track of them due to poor systems and sloppy management in the Home Office. This is not surprising as a lot of the H O staff are recently arrived immigrants.

    As part of the outline planning procedure the applicant should include time limits for various stages through to completion which if exceeded incur hefty fines with no appeal. This will reduce ‘land-banks’ significantly

  9. nota#
    June 22, 2021

    Sir John

    This whole debate seems out of step with the real realities facing this Country, as such it has become a ‘soundbite’ to deflect attention.

    Levelling up can’t start without an economy
    Build back better can’t start without an economy
    Independence and self reliance can’t start without leaving the EU

    The list goes on and as a US President quoted ‘its the economy stupid’

  10. Peter
    June 22, 2021

    Good point about developers sitting on land and gaming the system. There is a large pub site on the A3 with large car parking area. This was bought and the subsequent plans were rejected probably on the basis of trying to cram too much into the site. So the developers have simply allowed the site to fall into disrepair and become an eyesore. This is probably a plan to get the council to believe anything is better than a ruin.

    Being pedantic, I would take issue with the phrase ‘we welcomed some 715,000 extra people into our country’. Reading the comments on here one can see that ‘welcomed’ is not really the correct word, as far as many readers are concerned – though it is certainly one that appeals to politicians.

  11. Peter
    June 22, 2021

    ‘over the years a large number of executive homes have been built in Wokingham and places like it, attracting people with great qualifications—people capable of commanding well above average earnings.’

    In other words potential Conservative voters?

    Remember Shirley Porter selling off council accommodation in Westminster. That became a homes for votes scandal. ‘Executive homes’ to reinforce seats won in former Red Wall areas by changing the demographic is a very long shot. I am not sure government sponsored gentrification is a winner though.

    1. Micky Taking
      June 22, 2021

      I’m amazed Wokingham appears to be still sought after. Don’t they find out about the endless road issues, the concrete jungle, the mini-roundabouts going nowhere, follow one and get lost, the parking mafia, the libraries almost all gone, the coffee shops or charity shops not much else, the prison-like surgeries, the all-consuming council taxes, the continual party political Council meetings…

  12. NickC
    June 22, 2021

    There are over 9 million people in the UK not born here. Most are in England. And that’s official (ONS), and probably a significant underestimate (see research on NINos). Over 5.3 million EU citizens have applied for the post Brexit Settlement Scheme.

    No wonder we’re short of houses and infrastructure. Both Labour and Tory governments have wantonly encouraged excessive immigration, albeit under the thumb of the EU for a majority. We need a moratorium on all immigration for a decade, and a program to encourage immigrants to return home. And no immigrant should receive state welfare, NHS, education, etc, without paying for it.

    Reply We have invited people into our country so we should not then try to get them to leave.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      June 22, 2021

      I don’t remember inviting those from France in their dinghies. I would say gatecrashed was more apt.

    2. Narrow Shoulders
      June 22, 2021

      Reply to reply – I did not read that NickC was asking for them to leave but he did make a case for it to be more difficult for them to stay without being self sufficient and contributing.

      GDP increases are not the be all and end all – quality of life is Sir John and to do that we need net contributors. If other work isn’t being done without immigrants then it’s time to look at the benefit system which will never be done while we can bring low paid workers in.

    3. Iain Moore
      June 22, 2021

      Sir John….Did we really invite them, or did they come on their own volition, the British establishment choosing not to manage our borders? If there was an invitation, did it come from the people or the political class? I gather there was a certain amount of public opposition to immigration in the 1960’s, same with the immigration from Eastern Europe, and it was the threat of further immigration that carried the Brexit vote. The invitation malarkey is a ploy used by the left to claim a legal obligation.

      We have the problem where the British political class pursued an immigration policy for which they didn’t have a public mandate, worse do it in such a cack-handed way , failing to properly document arrivals, that we don’t have a clue who should be allowed here and who shouldn’t, thus the Windrush scandal, and now they are begging East Europeans to pick up their free British citizenship, on top of that we have one million illegals living here, and and asylum system that is totally broken.

      1. MFD
        June 22, 2021

        +1

    4. Mike Wilson
      June 22, 2021

      Reply to Reply:

      Why did YOU invite them? Against the wishes of, I believe, a majority of the people.

    5. jon livesey
      June 22, 2021

      JR is right, and also honest. If you let immigrants enter, you have to fulfil your side of the bargain.

    6. J Bush
      June 23, 2021

      Reply to reply
      Who welcomed them? Politicians definitely, but you know the vast majority of the people didn’t, in fact quite the opposite.

      Those who want them should take on the full responsibility of funding all their needs out of their own pockets and take full responsibility should they commit crimes.

    7. J Bush
      June 23, 2021

      Reply to reply
      Who welcomed them? Politicians definitely, but you know the vast majority of the people didn’t want over population, in fact quite the opposite.

      Those who want them should take on the full responsibility of funding all their needs out of their own pockets and take full responsibility should they commit crimes.

  13. Bryan Harris
    June 22, 2021

    I’m not convinced that home ownership has been such a success, especially for the Tories, as it appears that so many labour supporters also take advantage of the scheme, and it doesn’t make people more mobile.

    If our society was as advanced as so many of seem to think it is, we could make more use of difficult places to build on or in. Why don’t we build on mountain cliffs as many before us have done? Why don’t we build under the sea? If land was so precious we would be innovating and creating opportunities, rather than over-filling current towns and cities.

    We keep being told that net-zero will increase technology, but what would really increase innovative technology is by challenging our abilities to build in areas that are difficult, and doing something to allow flood planes to be completely safe.

  14. ChrisS
    June 22, 2021

    As I said here yesterday , we cannot keep adding 250,000-300,000 extra people to the population of our small island. Without net migration we would have almost no housing shortage and could concentrate on improving the existing housing stock. Voters most definitely want to see an end to net migration, so why do political parties not listen and act on what the people want ?

    Even if Politicians have some ideological reason for increasing our population, it makes everything about their green agenda so much more difficult to achieve. Especially CO2 emission ! 300,000 additional people will require at least 100,000 more housing units. That’s another 100,000 gas boilers that politicians will eventually want to see replaced with far more expensive and inefficient alternatives.
    How much more power needs to be generated to cope with an extra million people every four years ?

  15. DavidJ
    June 22, 2021

    “if we keep inviting in hundreds of thousands of extra people”

    That must stop especially when many bring negative value and want to make our country theirs.

  16. Thomas
    June 22, 2021

    The damage done to the fabric of the country by Blair’s immigration policy is incalculable, but obvious.

    But one measure to address the planning question seems rather simple: remove planning (but not building regs) control for residential construction in urban areas, where people want to work, there is infrastructure and where there are lots of disused industrial sites. Cities, mind, not country towns.

  17. Multi
    June 22, 2021

    And now the Government wants to shell out 200 Million on a new royal yacht and not one word about a merchant navy shipbuilding programme to suit our expected needs ie. new trade deals with Australia and other couttries in the pacific region. It can be estimated that we are going to need at least twenty panamax size container ships with refrigeration capacity, for a start, if we are going to be able to import export from so far away on a conveyor belt model like we had back in thd 1950’s 1960’s – not to mention the startup recruiting and training of suitable crew

    1. steve
      June 22, 2021

      Multi

      “….not one word about a merchant navy shipbuilding programme to suit our expected needs ie. new trade deals with Australia and other couttries in the pacific region. ”

      because, in a nutshell, this government is full of guff and anything it says must be taken as such.

    2. jon livesey
      June 22, 2021

      “and not one word about a merchant navy shipbuilding programme to suit our expected needs”

      So if some entrepreneur announced that he was going to build merchant ships in the UK, you would be one of the first to invest your money in that?

  18. Lester
    June 22, 2021

    Sir John

    How about all the uninvited ones, the total number is unknown?

    Priti Patel talks tough and does exactly the opposite. Border Farce vessels escorting them over by the dinghy load, Nigel Farage exposed this.

    People being arrested in Dover for simply filming their arrival, something extremely concerning going on, they’re not potential scientists or doctors, have no love for our country or way of life and would sooner kill us than look at us as has unfortunately happened many times!

  19. Iain Gill
    June 22, 2021

    Just had an email from a well know hotel chain.

    My booking has been cancelled as they have given all the rooms over to illegal immigrants.

    Is this really the country we want to live in?

    1. steve
      June 22, 2021

      Iain Gill

      Demand a full and instant refund of any monies paid by you to them. Express your disgust, I would.

      And yes – this is [Johnson’s] England we now live in.

      1. ChrisS
        June 22, 2021

        It would be much worse under Labour who want to reinstate free movement !

    2. Alan Jutson
      June 22, 2021

      Iain

      Hardly given, as it is us the taxpayer who will be funding the rooms, so you have still paid, albeit without consultation, no doubt you will be paying for their food and medical care as well, I wonder if they are on the same long waiting list as everyone else ?
      Doubt it, seems like an immediate gain to me.

      Meanwhile after about 10 years or more of waiting we have it would seem at last decided to let in some Afghanistan translators who worked for our Armed forces for years in a real war torn Country situation, and who had their and their families lives on the Taliban to kill list.

      Amazing !!

  20. Everhopeful
    June 22, 2021

    All that counterfeit dosh has to find a home.
    What better place than with a group of big shot investors who want to buy up streets of houses?
    Or with the banks, anxious to repossess when their complex and vast mortgages are defaulted on.
    This is all Agenda 21…” You will own nothing” …and be happy because the huge headache of an unplayable debt and unemployment will be relieved by renting.
    Plus the houses in the country will be big and expensive to deter most folk who will have to meekly move into high rises in the “city” to be controlled and infantilised further by the government and investment companies.

    See how eager people have been to accept “government protection” re covid. It is rumoured that Johnson wants yearly lockdowns every December because they are so popular!

    1. jon livesey
      June 22, 2021

      It is also rumoured that you make things up.

      1. Everhopeful
        June 22, 2021

        You need to get your terminology straight.
        I speak of rumour…you just tell lies.

  21. Mike Wilson
    June 22, 2021

    Of course we need to welcome people into our country

    Why? Haven’t we got enough people here already?

  22. Ignoramus
    June 22, 2021

    Two general points (not entirely on topic I’m afraid).

    I see a lot of hostility against immigration on this site. Am I wrong, but hasn’t the U.S.A done pretty well out of immigration? There seems to be quite a strong economic case for it, especially with a declining fertility rate. I do not wish this country to go the way of Japan.

    Also, while I have no objection to leaving the E.U, I also support us having another referendum in 34 years time – as the previous gap was 40 years from 1975 to 2015. Nobody seems to discuss this. I guess like Bill Cash and Peter Bone, I will have to keep the candle burning in these dark times, but I will not forget when the time comes. Be sure of that.

    1. beresford
      June 22, 2021

      It depends on your viewpoint. Immigration hasn’t served the Native Americans well at all, as their hunting ranges were occupied and enclosed to provide farms for the newcomers. Hungary and Norway have shown that with appropriate incentives the indigenous population are perfectly capable of having children.

    2. Lester
      June 22, 2021

      Ignoramus

      Isn’t the U.S.A. Slightly larger?

    3. a-tracy
      June 22, 2021

      Ignoramus, I personally don’t have a problem with immigration as long as it doesn’t provide benefits and housing.

      We’re told repeatedly that the USA has poor healthcare, health outcomes, poor border control.

      What do you think Ignoramus, do you think anyone that wants to come here should just roll up with no skills or money and be given housing benefits (over those on the waiting lists) and homes and job priority? Including those from anywhere in the world without passports or evidence of who they are? Do you thinks it is right for the UK to import more poverty so that UK citizens children’s get lower priority as so much money is diverted from taxes to provide rooms, homes, and board and pocket money with no limit at all?

    4. Frances Truscott
      June 22, 2021

      We are twice the population of Canada with a land mass the size of Idaho. South East England has a population density akin to Bangladesh. What we need to do is move existing jobs and homes north.

    5. Alan Jutson
      June 22, 2021

      Ignoramus

      Absolutely nothing wrong with controlled and planned immigration, for those who apply in advance through the right channels (as opposed to the English Channel in a dinghy)

    6. IanT
      June 22, 2021

      It’s not just a question of ‘how much’ immigration but also ‘what kind’ of immigration (e.g. the quality of immigrants).

      There is no doubt that Silicon Valley has benefitted by attracting the very best minds from around the world – I seem to recall that about 70% of the population there were not born in the US – BUT – they were also highly skilled/educated people too. The Valley can be compared with Japan, which is very much more insular in culture and there are few non-Japanese in the workforce. I’m not saying the Japanese are not very ingenious in their own right (they are) but they have had to compete with the best of the world.

      So we need to understand that some immigration is very desirable. We might not be a world power in many other respects but we could certainly compete very strongly in many areas of research and technology. So lets manage immigration and make sure we are importing quality and not just volume.

    7. dixie
      June 22, 2021

      You can have your referendum in 40+ years from when we actually left – we didn’t nominally leave until end December 2020 but even then we haven’t really left yet.

    8. jon livesey
      June 22, 2021

      You don’t know much about the US. The process for immigrating is pretty rigorous. You have to have real skills and some ability with the language. There are exceptions, for sentimental reasons, such as Ireland, but the US today is not allowing totally unskilled people in.

      1. graham1946
        June 23, 2021

        Except for those Sleepy Joe invited in through Trump’s fence.

    9. J Bush
      June 23, 2021

      The US has a population of 332,886,703, however it has an infinitely larger land mass.

      To put this into perspective, whilst the UK population is nearly fives times smaller at 68,232,208, it is about the same size as the State of Florida. Whilst Florida may have the everglade swamps, the UK has numerous mountain ranges.

  23. forthurst
    June 22, 2021

    It is simplistic to deduce that a process of subtraction can reveal the net increased demand for resources. Who are the people leaving and why? If they are young people seeking a better life in another country with more space and better prospects and a functional electoral system, then by leaving their parental home and going abroad they have created absolutely no additional space whatsoever.

    Claiming that we welcome foreigners to our country is quite simply virtue signalling which cannot be substantiated. Virtue signalling has led to comprehensivisation and the over expansion of higher education because politicians pretended that ability was not largely innate. It has led to laws which created offences when foreigners claimed they had become victims without any objective evidence in support. Politicians should abandon virtue signalling because they are appeasing those who do not wish for a good outcome for our country.

    1. forthurst
      June 22, 2021

      Some of the most desirable ‘executive’ homes in the country are terraced houses, albeit with excellent locations. The ‘executive’ home that JR might imagine is a detached property with the pretensions of a country estate. There is no room for these. Many people want to live in a detached property because they have had the experience of living in a dwelling adjoining others and the ensuing problems of neighbour noise or conflict over parking spaces. These problems are solvable. Instead of gibbering about saving the planet, the focus should be on very high sound insulation standards and adequate integral parking. Most do not want a large garden with its upkeep but they do desire outside space and privacy.

  24. a-tracy
    June 22, 2021

    “With just nine days to go before the scheme closes, the figures show that 130,000 of the 820,000 Europeans claiming benefits ranging from children’s allowance to income support have not yet applied for settled status. The figures, leaked to the Times, suggest about 70% of those are in a vulnerable category, with more than 90,000 receiving universal credit. Some local authorities are warning residents that housing benefit and council tax support will be withdrawn if they do not provide proof of status before 30 June, despite repeated government assurances that anyone who has applied for the status will have their rights protected after 1 July.” Guardian yesterday.

    This needs sorting out not ignoring. Each person needs a call or visit and help to complete forms if they are vulnerable. Why aren’t checks being made that they’re even in the Country still?

    1. MFD
      June 22, 2021

      Shussh don’t draw attention , we need rid!!!

      1. a-tracy
        June 23, 2021

        MFD – it will just be seen as another Windrush down the line and compensation etc. We have the BBC to keep the public informed, they failed on Windrush, they failed on informing WASPIs. Does this government ever actually send anyone home?

    2. jon livesey
      June 22, 2021

      I have lived in four different foreign countries. Each and every one of them seems to have assumed that if I thought I was qualified to live there, I could fill in a form. Not a single one ever spent their taxpayers’ money to send me “help” to do so.

  25. steve
    June 22, 2021

    JR

    “I support the Government’s passion for home ownership. They are right that we need to do more to extend that opportunity to a new generation. ”

    JR, you assume the government (or any government actually ) wants to be nice to people by encouraging home ownership.

    Some of us believe the real reason to be the benecficial position of governments in having people in lifetime debt and over a barrel.

    If they were being nice they’d be doing something about the obscene property prices in this country and giving the younger generation a chance.

    I also believe that those who want to sell up and move to sunnier climates or downsize in old age should not be allowed to sell their existing house for more than they originally paid for it. The pull from the top of the tree needs to be eliminated.

    1. jon livesey
      June 22, 2021

      That’s a foolish remark. What is important to you is *net* debt. That is, debt minus assets. If you buy a house with a mortgage, you pretty quickly have net assets, not net debt.

      If you do not buy a house, you may think you have not debts, but you are then doomed to pay rent until the day you die.

  26. Mockbeggar
    June 22, 2021

    In pleasant and holiday areas of this country, an awful lot of houses are snapped by wealthy ‘DFLs’ (Down from London) as second homes or for holiday lets. It’s very frustrating for local lower income workers who cannot afford the prices. Can anything be done to reduce this?

    1. MFD
      June 22, 2021

      Look in every Estate Agency in North Devon, no houses stay on the market more than a day, many bought unseen, with only a Zoom viewing by DFL’s

  27. Lindsay McDougall
    June 22, 2021

    What we need is zero net immigration and zero population growth for years to come. All local councils should be required to review and revise their structure plans – especially housing provision – in 2023, after the results of this year’s census are fully known. The revisions will be sharply downwards.

    We should also get rid of the idea of building ‘low cost housing’, i.e subsidised housing with its associated waiting lists, queue jumping and rampant corruption. What we need is an end to ‘easy money’, i.e. no more QE and base rate moved up slowly to inflation plus 0.5%. We also need to release more urban land, including the conversion of closed retail premises, to small builders, to encourage the large builders to use their permissions.

  28. anon
    June 22, 2021

    Over the last decades it seems like a coordinated plan has been executed to increase immigration into western countries despite no popular mandate or manifesto pledge to do so.

    All likely not budgeted for as it was never officially planned. BINO was not officially planned, but im sure it was planned for.
    Taking back control of our borders,laws and economy?
    Why do we still have large scale fully funded illegal immigration with negligible returns to the country of last departure or origin. Quack quack said the duck.

    Governments lack honesty, capability and trust. So planning would be a challenge.

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