Liberal Vision on why Simon Hughes is wrong on right to buy
07/08/2010 8:12 pm
Very good article on the laughable Simon Hughes' recent outburst by LibDem think tank Liberal Vision. They should just boot him out of party and tell him to go and join the SWP instead:
"Less than a week after criticising the Prime Minister for making up housing policy on the hoof without consulting coalition channels, Simon Hughes is campaigning for an option for Councils to suspend the Right to Buy scheme. This would be a bad idea.
Right to Buy, the facility for Council tenants to buy their homes, before it was a Conservative Policy was supported by the Liberal Party, whose 1950 manifesto states:
“Housing: The main plan is, first to get people decent living conditions and then to give them the chance to become owner-occupiers, even in Council houses and flats”
Simon’s motivation is to ensure more Council homes remain Council homes in order to maintain the social pool and reduce waiting lists.
But stopping the right to buy does not increase the housing stock, it just increases the barriers between the social and private sector, ensuring that it is harder for aspirational tenants to move on. The Liberal Democrats have campaigned for some time for there to be more links between RTB receipts and new build or regeneration.
Right to Buy also ensures mixed communities. Tenants sell on, young professionals and families move in. Ending the scheme would means needs-assessments were the only condition for tenancy. A recipe for concentrating social problems.
I think it strange that some self-defined social liberals campaign rigorously for mixing pupils in schools through lotteries and LEA selection, but think in housing communities are better segregated. Make your minds up.
Simon’s long-term vision is also questionable. Bermondsey already has one of the highest percentages of social housing in the country, the London Borough of Southwark is the UK’s largest landlord. That means it also has some of the highest demand for more.
But the conclusion of endlessly responding to that demand is to continually increase the percentage, concentrating social problems and poverty across entire areas not just estates. That in turn reduces money coming into an area, spent in the area, local employment and the tax base.
In that regard, as has been said previously, what Bermondsey needs most is mixed housing and business parks as part of a sustainable economy strategy. Diversity and opportunities not homogeneity and subsidies.
What Simon’s proposal would mean instead is ongoing polarisation. Aspirational Councils wouldn’t use the power, left-leaning Councils would see it as an opportunity to gerrymander wards. How Bermondsey got into such a mess in the first place."
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12/08/2010 12:48 pm
Property istheft if it is taken away from a national social asset... If you want property all you have to do is buy it on theprivate market. If you say you have not got enough money to do it, then campaign for the state to give you incentives so you can afford it.
But any property taken out from social housing is theft whether you are loonies or not.
12/08/2010 2:03 pm
actually I voted libdem last time for the first time in my life... my criticism to the libdem is that they have been too naive, as soon as they were offered the chance to have a couple of cabinet posts they just caved in... they should have exploited the moment and refused any coalition and start as constructive opposition and mow down whichever makeshift governemnt would do something wrong and caused a new election.
it is too late now. The only shame is that any conservative disaster will be now paid for by the libdem.
12/08/2010 4:05 pm
Give you a warm feeling this "national" social asset, does it? You feel you own it, like say you did the national railways, the national coal board, the CEGB.
No. I don't think so. You paid for it. But your rights of ownership were there just to give poor dum saps the illusion that they own it.
So too housing. The poor dum saps who live in it should be entitled to own it - via RTB.
12/08/2010 5:02 pm
I went to Asda yesterday. I purchased 4 spuds, a can of tuna and a jar of mayo. I took these items and paid cash for them and left the shop with them in my re-useable bag. They are now mine. I own them. Tonight, I will eat them, they will still be mine.
Following so far Anon - this is to help you understand ownership.
I am an 'owner-occupier'. I do not own the house I live in, the bank does. I pay the bank every month and one day I will have a deed that tells me I do not have to pay for it anymore. I can pass it on to the beneficiaries of my will, but if they do not make a will then the property reverts (note reverts) to the Crown.
If you do not understand yet Anon please, just ask and I'll try to use smaller words.
12/08/2010 6:24 pm
I don't fear your use of smaller words, Mr Webb. It's the smaller thoughts that are the killer along with your choice of diet.
Someone's got to be terribly sad buying just 4 spuds, in fact, if I were to buy just four spuds I think I'd have to buy them over the internet to save the embarassment of other shoppers. Tinned tuna - only fit for a cat. And a jar of mayo. You mean you don't make your own? A re-useable bag. Streuth. I bet you've used a single prophylactic all your life.
I've got no idea what you're on about explaining how a mortgage works. But given your loony lefty heritage I bet this has something to do with your fear of the fat-cat capitalist, another of your bete-noires, which if you don't go home this very moment is likely to snaffle the tuna, pee in the mayo, feed the spuds to the pig and thieve the re-usable bag.
12/08/2010 9:46 pm
Anon, I give you my pity. What a shame you are completely incapable of presenting an argument and can only insult and squeal discontent. Sadest of all is that you are probably in an influencial position of responsibility, or even in government as you sound as fascile as they.
Perhaps if you had any real world experience you would not base you 'killer point' on my inability to afford a lavish meal. I'd have thought you'd have congratulated my thrift, but then I forgot that you can only respect the individual, and you are the individual.
No wonder you are to ashamed to put a name to you views.
12/08/2010 10:47 pm
I only had a tin of sardines this evening. Cost £0.35 from Tesco.
Big mistake because I found out later I could have got 3 tins for £0.99 from the 99p Shop where everything costs 0.99 and I could have saved, literally, a couple of pennies.
Before you call me a loony left for eating sardines, be aware I am trying no to get fat.
16/08/2010 10:12 pm
I'd like to join forces with Mr Hughes, and anyone else up for it, and call for a Rght-to-Rent.
Under Right-to-Rent occupants of non-socially rented housing can opt to have the ownership of their home transferred to a social landlord at a discounted cost in return for security of tenure and affordable rent. Homeless will have the right to identify an empty property which too can then be transferred to a social landlord at a discounted cost.
This extension of freedom and choice should prove popular with people living with over-extended mortgages and rip off private rents to pay, not to mention with the homeless.
Of course the government would need to pass legislation restricting the proceeds from the Right-to-Rent so that the money thus paid is tied up in inaccessible treasury bonds for at least 40-years, and further legislation extinguishing the rights of recovery by mortgage companies other than the value of the Rght-to-Rent purchase value.
Thus, the entire cash loss and housing loss of Right-to-Buy can be reversed, and it is perfectly legitimised through individual freedom and excercising of choice.
17/08/2010 11:17 am
Anon - I think CW has a piece of tongue in his cheek, but actually, why shouldn't there be a Right-to-Rent? Surely in the 'age of the individual' then choice should not be restricted solely to the ruling right-wing dogma of Right-to-Buy. I'd love to hear the argument why people should not have the choice of renting.
17/08/2010 12:11 pm
Anon - are you against the Right-to-Rent then?
17/08/2010 12:18 pm
So you are anti choice Anon? Tenants must be compelled to do what you believe is right? Nobody can have any other option but ownership? Is this the future you would see for housing - No Choice?
17/08/2010 1:49 pm
Anon - how can a single option be choice?
PS, I do not believe Marx supported Right-to-Buy, nor that he accrued sufficient length of tenure to explot the discount.