X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

Please note: Previously subscribers used a 'WebID' to log into the website. Your subscriber number is not the same as the WebID. Please ensure you use the subscriber number when you link your subscription.

Coffee House

Ed Miliband’s price control pattern

1 May 2014

6:21 PM

1 May 2014

6:21 PM

Ed Miliband has got the reaction he wanted to his speech on the private rented sector, which he used today to launch Labour’s local election campaign. Landlords and nasty right-wingers hate this latest stage in his ‘cost-of-living contract’.

The Residential Landlords Association said rent controls ‘would critically undermine investment in new homes to rent and are not needed’ and the National Landlords Association said ‘the proposal for a three-year default tenancy is unnecessary, poorly thought-through and likely to be completely unworkable’. On Coffee House, Policy Exchange’s Chris Walker says ‘rent controls are at best misguided and at worst could be counterproductive, longer-term’. Grant Shapps suggested that these were ‘Venezuelan-style rent controls’.

[Alt-Text]


Which is of course what Miliband wanted. He wants his announcement on longer-term tenancies for the private rented sector which will prevent ‘excessive rises’ in rent to follow the same pattern as his energy price freeze.

The pattern is this: Miliband identifies a genuine problem that frustrates many voters and which the government is making insufficient noise on. Miliband then announces a policy to tackle this which involves plenty of government action, possibly to an outlandish extent. The group this would hit, which is an unpopular group of fat cat energy bosses or heartless landlords, gets very cross. Right-wingers claim the Labour leader is having a 1970s socialist disco or trying to emulate the sort of chaps that lefties put on T-shirts. The polling shows the public like the policy. The government panics and announces a less significant (but possibly more workable) policy which reinforces that Miliband was right to highlight the problem in the first place.

The next stage, of course, in this pattern, could be that in 2015 Miliband then tries to implement all these policies and the nasty right-wingers and mean landlords/energy bosses are proven right. But that’s only if he’s won an election partly because the pattern above has worked out for him as a means of appealing to voters.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
Close