Coffee House

We need to lift the cap on councils’ borrowing so they can help solve Britain’s housing crisis

3 July 2014

10:55 AM

3 July 2014

10:55 AM

With Britain’s housing crisis worsening by the day, and Londoners facing a housing catastrophe, we urgently need to maximise the construction of new homes. It is crucial that this includes new council housing.

In 1979 councils were building around a third of all new homes in the country. But by the end of the 1980s council house building had slowed to a trickle, and it continued to decline in subsequent decades. Private sector housebuilders never filled the hole in supply that was left when local authorities stopped building. Hence, the roots of the current housing crisis can be traced back, in a large part, to the decision by the Thatcher government to choke off council house building.

Thanks to reforms to local authority borrowing made at the end of the last Labour government, some councils are now building homes for the first time in decades. The reform, which gave local authorities ‘borrowing headroom’, was very welcome. But councils would have access to far more funding to build new homes if the remaining cap on their borrowing was removed. Such a move is supported by everyone from Boris Johnson to London Councils and it has cross-party support in the London Assembly.

Yet on Coffee House Keith Cooper took a contrary view. He used a study for Inside Housing that showed £1.4 billion in unused headroom across the country to suggest the cap doesn’t need to be lifted at all.

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The first thing to note is that £1.4 billion split across Britain’s local authorities isn’t very much. And Cooper’s report found that nearly 90 per cent of authorities have headroom of at least £1 million. In London that’s enough to build just six homes.

The report found that four in ten local authorities had no plans to build homes using their existing headroom. Quite obviously this shows that six in ten are, and many of them are lobbying vociferously to be able to do more. Thanks to Labour’s reform to the borrowing rules, 490 new council homes were built in London in 2012/13. This may not sound like many, but it’s the highest figure since 1992. Why is it in anyone’s interest for the government to stymie councils who want to build more homes and do the right thing?

Housing need varies across the country. Some local authorities don’t face a shortage of housing, and so their headroom will remain untouched. This is why the London Assembly has called for a headroom trading scheme to be established to enable authorities that want and need to build homes to acquire borrowing headroom from those that don’t.

Giving councils more borrowing headroom will also enable them to undertake better, faster regeneration of existing estates, and remove the need for unpopular stock transfers to housing associations.

Councils haven’t acted as developers for decades. Most will have a significant deficit of knowledge and experience in the delivery of new homes, and that won’t change overnight. Getting to a stage where local authorities are delivering new homes in significant numbers will be like turning round an oil tanker. But it must be turned around. Thirty years of housing policy failure cannot be corrected overnight.

Owen Jones is right about lifting the borrowing cap. So is Boris Johnson.

Tom Copley is a member of the London Assembly and is City Hall Labour’s housing spokesperson

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Show comments
  • Bonkim

    That is because housing has been devolved to local Housing Associations that are independent from the councils. Increasing borrowing limits will lead to insolvencies – as it is council finances are on shaky grounds with the huge pensions liabilities.

    Developers are sitting on huge stocks of planning land hoping for greater profits – force them to build or lose planning permissions.

  • saffrin

    We need to close the door to immigrants, kick out those already here and get those housing benefit claimants back to work.
    No need to borrow any money matey, just get real.

  • echo34

    Who in their right minds thinks that councils can be trusted with money?

  • Seldom Seen

    Let’s be quite clear about local government: it’s irrelevant and always has been. In reality, it’s a way of keeping unemployment artificially low. Those who work in local government don’t actually do anything: they are merely time-servers, shuffling paper from one tray to another, attending endless meetings about whether (or not) to erect a statue to Nelson Mandela, all the while keeping a weather-eye on their index-linked pensions. And to fund this rampant inertia, they charge ‘council tax’ which is nothing more or less than licensed fraud. After all, if you take money off house owners for services they don’t receive, that’s all it is.

    • mark r

      What a load of old rubbush your talking. I work in local government as a rent officer & with the cuts that the Dictator Osboune has put upon us there is spiralling arrears because there is not enough staff to keep this issue under contral..As for pensions we do not get a massive pension.. the small front line staff suffer

  • Common Sense ✟ كافر

    Local councils actively house third world immigrants in the scarce social housing
    available over any indigenous British people. When checking out a recent new
    social housing development in Westminster over 90% of the residents were
    immigrants – WE HAVE A 15 YEAR WAITING LIST!! But immigrants who have been in
    the UK for no time with no job, money or English got them – FACT

  • LondonStatto

    Labour politician arguing for more borrowing? Stunning.

  • dado_trunking

    Speculators in Luanda/Angola are wondering why property prices in other parts of the Third World, notably Greater London, are not catching up faster.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …maybe your sockpuppet army can help bid them up, lad .

  • ScaryBiscuits

    Vote Labour: more borrowing, more debt – the magic answer to every problem.
    Never mind that many councils (particularly Labour ones) are already insolvent because of pension liabilities. A £50b black hole and Labour (and the rest) just want to add to it.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …so does Boy George, to be fair.

  • http://www.allkins.co.uk Dominic Allkins

    Sigh…

    There is no need to increase the borrowing cap. Recent research from Inside Housing showed that much of the £2.9Bn in investment borrowing available has not be used.

    It’s not that councils don’t have access to the cash – they just don’t have a clue what to do with it.

    A quote from the article at Inside Housing:

    “Extra borrowing capacity will make little difference until town halls employ what they already possess. What’s needed now is a practical cure for councils’ house building malaise not a pointless campaign to lift the cap.”

    As stated by others – we’re in a mess (partly) because of too much Government borrowing. We don’t need to make it any worse.

  • Marmalade Sandwich

    The current government created a New Homes Bonus payable to councils for every new home built/converted equal to the average band D council tax (£1,444) with an additional £350 if the home was “affordable”. This is on top of the council tax paid by the occupants too. And the bonus is paid for six years. So out of our taxes every council is being paid an additional £8,664 for every house built in their area over six years. It is little wonder that councils up and down the country are pushing for as many houses in their areas as can be squeezed into to every acre of farm land they can get their hands on. 10,000 new Lego box houses equates to additional revenue of at least £29,000,000 per year. And this is without including the benefit of the developer bonus – distributed via brown envelopes. I don’t want
    this extra development destroying our green fields or my money spent funding
    it. Is this the most corrupt area of modern life today?

    Regarding demand, figures on fertility for England have been below 1.9 children per women for the last 41 years (figure from ONS). The replacement level of 2.1 children per woman is the threshold number for repopulation, which England has failed to achieve since 1973. Therefore, no indigenous need for house building on this scale.

  • Wessex Man

    The last thing we should do is let the Councils that are now run by and large by untrustworthy idiots borrow more money. Their allowance will be larger than the PM’s pay!

    If we really need all these houses, let’s have self build, you never know the places might just might be halfway looked after by the occupiers!

  • Hexhamgeezer

    No council must be allowed to build a single house unless it is completely transparent on who has been given houses, past and present. Currently councils are allowed to stonewall requests for breakdowns on who gets their houses/flats. Anything involving public money must be completely open. Councils, especially Labour dominated ones involved in social engineering and gerrymandering must be vetted before any builds. In fact we are long overdue independent investigations into corruption in Housing Offices and dispensing Housing Benefit to illegals (for e.g).

    • Andy

      So true. One notes that Bob Crow lived in social housing. One has to ask why he wasn’t thrown out years ago.

      And the Fascist Labour Party has long gerrymandered housing – one of that scum said his policy was to ‘build the Tories out of London’. Time to reverse that I would say.

      • GraveDave

        Now it’s the Tories trying to build everyone else out of London. As for Bob Crowe, he worked and paid his taxes -right?

      • Colin McCulloch

        He wasn’t thrown out because social housing isn’t income-tested. Indeed, anybody can apply to it but points are given to most in need for new lets. Bob Crow got his house before the social housing scarcity began (thanks Right to Buy) and had absolutely no obligation to give it up.

        See my comments below about what we should about social housing allocations in future.

  • Colin McCulloch

    Building council houses alone isn’t enough. There must also be a change in the allocations rules or social landlords will continue to allocate out the housing as they do now i.e. generally not to low to middle income earners unless it’s in “hard to let” areas.

    Building social rented housing to then pay the rents via Housing Benefit just adds debt to the pile without a return; whilst it’s important we house those who are homeless and in housing need we also need to start getting more actual rent payers into the sector so it can increase its income and therefore build more again in the future.

    The concept of the mixed community was once the rock on which social rented housing was built; any given street would have a mix of income levels and people of varying employment status. Too many social rented homes in “good areas” were lost to Right to Buy, with the remainder often turning into sink estates. Start bringing a mix of people into new developments and end the ghettoisation of the council estates.

    • Donafugata

      Council house tenants had to be respectable, in work and able to pay the rent.
      If their children misbehaved or the house and garden showed signs of neglect, tenants were evicted.

      To be socially housed was a privilege and carried responsibilities.
      Then some idiot changed the rules and councils were legally obliged to help anyone who asked, an impossible burden when the world and his wife decide to show up.

  • Kernow Castellan

    Absolutely

    After all, left-wing councils can be trusted to borrow responsibly and prudently.

    Just look at the US for fiscal paragons like Detroit or California.

  • Mike Barnes

    Housing crisis?

    Well it depends what side of the coin you are on doesn’t it. If you’re a landlord, like a third of our MPs, then you’d be quite pleased your investments have just increased 20 something % in a year right? What other sector is showing growth like that?

    You’d quite enjoy the fact you’re getting a never ending stream of people from the EU and beyond competing to rent your properties.

    Maybe it’s not a crisis, maybe it’s going exactly how they planned it…

    • GraveDave

      Right, nothing to do with being left wing or right wing.

  • MrVeryAngry

    We do not need a lift on the cap of LA borrowing. More state borrowing is just what we do not need. It’d suck even more funds out of the productive economy. It would be just as easy for the LA to get the land and then hand the development over to an HA or similar that raised its own funding.

  • MrVeryAngry

    “Hence, the roots of the current housing crisis can be traced back, in a large part, to the decision by the Thatcher government to choke off council house building.” No. There has been no companion easing of authoritarian planning controls by capricious bureaucrats, let alone all the looney tunes legislative requirements on greeny standards and the like put in place by Blair and his cronies.

  • The Masked Marvel

    Is it a “housing” shortage, or a “social housing” shortage? Why is the author using misleading language?

    • itdoesntaddup

      It is a queue of people attracted more by a heavy subsidy and security of rental tenure not otherwise available.

  • Conway

    If you increase the population you have more demand for houses, especially if you make it more profitable for people with families to split up. Labour has its fingers all over those drivers.

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    Land values have not exactly dropped. If councils actually owned some land (do they?) they could build build build. Do councils own land in central London? Do they own land in the periphery? Owning the land is detrimental to any given housing policy. Increasing the availability of a *vast amount of* affordable homes would reduce the values of surrounding properties. Britain is long long past that threshold of affordability. If immigration was the elephant in the room, then the Mammoth must be Britain’s indebtedness and the lack of adequate pension provision of its populace.

    • Torybushhug

      “Land values have not exactly dropped. If councils actually owned some land (do they?) they could build build build”

      • BarkingAtTreehuggers

        The attraction of immigrants is entirely unconnected to my point.
        If I made that connection then it would not make good reading (for you).
        When we find that our 1960s style transport, healthcare and energy infrastucture needs an upgrade due to modern day demands, then why not just upgrade it? When our 1870s style housing stock is what it is, then why not just upgrade?

        • Alexsandr

          my house is 1830 and is just fine thanks.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …yes, but the attraction of your sockpuppet army is entirely connected to your point, troll.

    • Inverted Meniscus

      And where will the councils get the money to “build, build, build”?

      • BarkingAtTreehuggers

        Where did Bliarite PFI hospital and school schemes get their funding from to build build build? —- they sold the land.

        • Alexsandr

          no, its borrowing by another name.

          • BarkingAtTreehuggers

            no.
            they.sold.the.land.

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Your sock puppets are all over this thread like a rash lad.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …maybe we can sell a few dozen of your sockpuppets, lad?

          • Inverted Meniscus

            No market in gibberish spouting socialist nutter sock puppets I’m afraid viceroy. Perhaps we could sell them to his masters in Brussels.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …do your other sockpuppets bark at your goat sockpuppet, lad?

      • you_kid

        wot, SAY IT AGAIN – NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU, TROLL

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …what… are all your sockpuppets barking too loud for you, troll?

  • Ed B

    Labour politician advocates yet more public borrowing while ignoring underlying issues…. who’da thunk it?

  • DWWolds

    To solve the housing crisis we do not need to borrow more. We simply need to stop immigration.

    • Alexsandr

      no
      REVERSE immigration. Send those with no visible means of support home.

      • DWWolds

        Wouldn’t disagree with that.

  • Andy

    There would be no housing crisis if the Fascist Labour Party, of which the idiot Copley is a member, hadn’t indulged in mass immigration to stack the Fascist vote. He can stick that in his pipe and smoke it.

  • Inverted Meniscus

    Do you left wing idiots ever have an idea that does not involve spending other people’s money? Does it not occur to you that unfettered immigration, too tight planning regulations and a national debt which is already unmanageable might have contributed to the shortage and prevent any reasonable attempt to try and deal with said problem. I am utterly sick of witless leftist scum searching their single brain cells and deciding firstly that the problem had nothing to do with their lunatic actions in the first place and second, that the only solution is to bleed the private sector taxpayer of every last penny they possess.

    • Mynydd

      ‘Spending other people’s money’ last month Mr Osborne overspent his income by £13bn, so does that put him in the witless leftist scum
      ‘Unfettered Immigration’ is a result of Mr Heath signing the Treaty of Rome and Margaret Thatcher signing up to the EU Single Market, were these two witless leftist scum
      ‘Too tight planning regulations’ the present government have reformed the planning regulations, so if the regulations are still to tight, blame Mr Cameron.
      ‘National Debt’ Mr Cameron will borrowed more in 5 years than Mr Brown borrowed in 13 years, so is it a witless rightist scum who has doubled the national debt.

      • Wessex Man

        theres no hope for you is there?

        • Inverted Meniscus

          No he is a Labour Troll.

      • Inverted Meniscus

        Are you so dishonest as to suggest that if Labour had won the 2010 election borrowing would be lower or reduced? Their spending and borrowing plans were only fractionally different to those of the Conservatives and we all know that when push came to shove Labour would not even stomach the limited cuts in the rate of spending advocated by the Tories. Labour left a massive structural deficit and an economy that had shrunk by 7.4% as well as borrowing more prior to the election to create the pathetic illusion of growth. You can lie all day and all night and you probably will but you cannot change the fact that Brown left the economy in tatters. To infer that borrowing would have been less under Labour is simply dishonest.

    • dado_trunking

      FATCHA imported more immigrants than Millipede ever did.
      When you FATCHERITES ran out of your own money, you just socialised your losses.
      Witless eejjits will remain witless eejjits all their lives.

      • Inverted Meniscus

        Not as many as your socialist nutter sock puppets lad.

        • dado_trunking

          did that not shut you up – you fascist socialisers of losses. That’s what FATCHERITES like you do when you run out of your own money. lad.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …bring on the goat, lad.

          • Inverted Meniscus

            Never enough money from the EU to finance the disruptive activities of all of your gibberish spouting sock puppets lad. How is the weather in Brussels? Making any progress on ending free speech in the UK?

      • itdoesntaddup

        You do know there was a small amount of net emigration in the Thatcher years?

        • dado_trunking

          Correct, FATCHA could not reverse the exodus in the North. The replacement of indigenous people with survivors of repeat Bangleshi floodings could not compensate for the loss of vision on a previuosly unseen scale – perhaps only likened today to what happened during the Irish potato famine or when the Vandals went shopping all over Europe.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …is this incoherent gibberish supposed to be communicating something, troll?

            • you_kid

              when have YOU last produced a coherent post – look at your record, it’s nothing but trollerati sheiiite

              • the viceroy’s gin

                …uh oh, you forgot to switch over to the right sockpuppet, troll.

  • HookesLaw

    There is no housing crisis so the labour spokesman’s argument falls at the first hurdle
    Housing starts are up and there are 700,000 empty homes.

  • Aaron P

    >”Private sector housebuilders never filled the hole in supply that was left when local authorities stopped building.”

    Is this because private sector house builders have an aversion to building houses in a booming house market and making bigger profits or is it because they can’t get planning permission from councils?

    • Conway

      My county council seems to give planning permission for just about anything, so I don’t think it’s that.

    • Mynydd

      As I understand it there are already planning permission from councils for 400,000 houses. From a developers point of view, why build this year when with a booming housing market you can charge say 20% more next year.

      • Alexsandr

        no point building if people cant get mortgages. And now there are new affordability criteria so it will get worse. But then we should not lend to people without the ability to pay. we need to reduce the demand and that means enforcing rule that no job then no house if you are not brit. Go home and demand a house there.

    • itdoesntaddup

      As usual, politicians of the Left never bother to check the actual statistics. IN GB in 1979 there were 6.6m council homes (the all time high) out of 20.8m homes (with 11.5m owner occupied, 2.4m rented privately). By the time Thatcher left power in 1990 the total number of homes had risen to 22.9m, with owner occupation rising to 15.1m homes – while the UK population grew by just 1 million back in the days of balanced migration.

  • Torybushhug

    Chukka Umoona last night on LBC radio with Iain Dale, responding to a Devon caller angry at Labours arrogance in denying people a say on Europe > “if you feel that strongly you can always go to another party”.
    Still the liberal elite are deaf to the will of the people.
    Cutting dead the huge inflow of bodies is the only way to end demand lunacy.

    • Conway

      One can only hope that thousands take him at his word.

  • Daedalus

    That’s easy then. My council borrows 100M quid, builds 80 houses and then sticks my council tax up.
    Go away and come back with something better.
    Daedalus.

    • Donafugata

      You have my sympathy, Daedalus but whether councils build or not, your CT goes up.

      Once upon a time the whole gamut of social welfare was based on contributions and seemed to work fairly well but some idiot decided to change that and it has all been based on need, regardless of what someone has paid in.

      The poor councils have been lumbered with a “duty of care” (horrible phrase) so when a family with five kids arrives from Mogadishu or a “single mum” from Bratislava, they are placed in privately rented accommodation and the council subsidises the rent as housing benefit.

      The only other option is to build like fury or repatriate the huddled masses that we so generously have decided to take care of.
      A civilised form of lebensraum is what we need.

      • Donafugata

        I forgot to say that my local council has 80,000 applicants on its housing register.

    • Mynydd

      By your figures it costs your council over £1,000,000 to build a house, are they building houses in Downing Street.

      • Wessex Man

        No they are just hopeless at negotiating or carrying out any piece of work at a reasonable cost!

  • Torybushhug

    I so wish people would come get a does of reality in my office.
    The housing crisis cannot be ‘solved’ by ever more building.
    A letting agent shares the office here with me. Day in day out a stream of new migrants come through here seeking property.
    Over and again it’s the same story. Back home in Poland / Botswana on Facebook they saw the great property their cousins now occupied, often funded with in work housing benefit, and they wanted a piece of the action, I mean where else can you go in the world and be given housing benefit like this!
    Building more homes will simply increase the magnetic drag on migrants.
    How long do we want to carry on like this, should we plaster the SE with even more roads, bringing ever more pressure to farm intensively, eroding away southern Britain until the Human swarm can be heard and felt from every last corner?
    What of magical peaceful southern Britain free from road hum and congestion, is it worth nothing?
    What is the end game?

    • Donafugata

      A few months ago I went to the housing department of my local council to inquire about sheltered accommodation for over 55s due to my health problems.

      While I waited I overheard the conversation of the applicant before me.

      He was originally from Afghanistan, via Germany, the usual stepping stone for Afghans. He was very content to be here now but wanted his cousin, still in Germany wanted to come here and “could he have have somewhere to live too”.

      He was quite dismayed to be told that his cousin would have to make his own application.

      It is time to send the rest of the world a different message.

  • Marmalade Sandwich

    How has Fraser Nelson not edited this drivel
    from a Labour politician? An article on housing has to mention the elephant in
    the room. Although, ironically, I will omit to mention it also, but only
    because it so obvious to anyone with a tea spoonful of brain.

    • Wanton Ape

      That’s not ironic.

  • Blindsideflanker

    Changing borrowing limits, or building homes will take years to have any marginal effect to supply. Doing the bleeding obvious would cut housing demand by 500,000 per year.

    • Slim Jim

      You are absolutely correct. There appears to be a deliberate consensus amongst the political and chattering classes to never mention the ‘i’ word as a major factor in the shortage of housing in this country.

      • Blindsideflanker

        The political and chattering classes by excluding subjects from discussion and their spin/propaganda have created a quite bizarre political discourse in our country.

        We to no longer have to define a subject to have people know exactly what is meant. Their exclusion of certain topics has now become weapon to be used against them for I didn’t have to mention the unmentionable to have people know exactly to what I was referring. Then there is the ‘enrichment’ and ‘Religion of Peace’, which is now been slimmed down to RoP, which has turned some of their propaganda into a terms of abuse.

    • telemachus

      OK Enoch what is the obvious and what mechanism
      *
      Emma Reynolds first thing next June has pledged to partner the industry to give 200000 new dwellings within a year
      Then Ed Balls will ensure with a flexible approach to borrowing limits get this up to 300000 in 2016
      And so on
      *
      Sadly we are saddled with to-us-and-ours Osborne until then

      • Inverted Meniscus

        Meanwhile back on Earth where honest solutions are required that don’t involve leftist scum spending other people’s money……

        • Andy

          Fascist scum like Telemachus can only spend money they steal.

        • telemachus

          This is a prime example of the need for borrowing
          I have no doubt that you had no qualms when you took out your mortgage
          Well so the Councils

          • Inverted Meniscus

            I have never required a mortgage to buy a house

            • dado_trunking

              you mean you still rent a bedsit – or did daddy overstretch to purchase it for you?

              • Inverted Meniscus

                Nobody could afford to buy properties to accommodate all of your gibberish spouting sock puppets lad even successful, self-made people like myself. Who could possibly afford to buy homes for Barking at Tree Huggers, Dalai Guevara, you Kid, Dado Trunking and lest we forget, the Goat. You socialist nutters love spending other people’s money lad because you are too lazy, feckless,stupid and uneducated to earn any money yourselves. Now run along laddie, I am sure you have plenty of socialist nutter gibberish to spout at your fellow socialist nutters and the Goat.

            • telemachus

              Ah
              As I thought
              Silver spoon maketh the man

              • Inverted Meniscus

                No just not a lazy feckless, unproductive, uneducated, socialist nutter like yourself.

            • AtMyDeskToday

              How very fortunate you are. Meanwhile back on planet earth….

              • Inverted Meniscus

                Nice of you to break off from filing your benefits claim. On Earth, we call it working hard, saving and not living off the backs of others. Try it sometime.

                • AtMyDeskToday

                  How very considerate of you. Just a few problems stand in the way of your thesis…

                  Although born into a household where my parents, I and 4 siblings lived in two rooms and shared an outside toilet with 2 other flats, I went on to uni education and had a very successful career in Telecoms, Electronics and Computing, including international postings and Europe-wide project responsibility. It felt like hard work at the time. I have never voted Labour, in fact on the economy I would be regarded by many as well to the right of the Tory party. I live in a rather grand, by many standards, mortgage free, house, drive a BMW and spend 3 months of the year abroad in sunny climes.
                  Nothing to boast about, just simple facts. You conversely rely on bluster and insults to make what little point there is to your argument.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  And yet you started this dialogue by responding to my provocative comment which was not addressed to you. Boasting about driving a BMW is somewhat sad and not something which impresses me laddie.

                • AtMyDeskToday

                  …and yet my post contained this…”Nothing to boast about, just simple facts. ” Perhaps in your haste, you being provocative, you missed that.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  You initiated the conversation lad. Why do you think I would be interested or impressed by the ‘fact’ that you own a BMW. As I said previously, it is an unimpressive ‘fact’ from my perspective and turns you into a figure of ridicule. You clearly have self-worth issues and I assume that is why you initiated the conversation. I have no desire to correspond with a saddo who thinks that owning a BMW is impressive otherwise why would you acquaint me with such a pointless ‘fact’. Now run along laddie before you make yourself look even more stupid with your ‘facts’.

                • AtMyDeskToday

                  Yawn! Or maybe more pertinent, LOL! You have some serious personality traits, the streets are not safe with you out there.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Then why did you initiate the conversation laddie? Nobody is impressed with your BMW lad because some of us have got proper cars. Like I said, I have no interest in a nobody like you but then I didn’t start this. Now run along, there’s a good lad.

        • Mynydd

          To make it simple for you,
          A council borrows money to build a house, the council rents out the house, the council uses that income to pay off its borrowing.
          A private landlord borrows money to buy a house, the landlord rent out the house, the landlord uses the income to pay off its borrowing
          Where in these two cases are leftist scum spending other people’s money?.

          • ButcombeMan

            Private landlords would generally not pay off their borrowings, they tend to wait until their property has increased in value, re-mortgage, then use the capital so released, to buy another rental property. This removes another home from the market and inflates prices.

            Because of capital gains tax it is not easy to sell one investment property and buy another, capital gains tax on the sale and then the new property (a business asset) is more expensive. Such properties are not treated like standard business assets.

            And teles “need for borrowing” depends of course on future generations being able to pay the borrowing costs of this international money. Too much of the UKs cash and borrowed cash is being pumped into our housing market, one way or another.

            We need to address both demand (uncontrolled immigration) and supply (build more- somehow).

            There are other social changes that inflate demand.

            Number of households through single living is one, an aging population is another, with the current structure of stamp duty causing market stasis among older owner occupiers and damaging much needed potential economic activity.

            Sadly the youngsters in the Treasury do not understand the economic damage from stamp duty. These would be the same ones who conned Osborne into his VAT problems two budgets ago.

          • Inverted Meniscus

            Perhaps you could explain to those of us stuck here on planet Earth why councils have not simply built 5 million or 10 million houses following your magic formula. Could it be that the rents have to be subsidised by private sector taxpayers to accommodate, immigrants, feckless Labour voters like yourself etc etc who do not have the means to pay rents which would need to be high enough to cover interest costs and other overheads etc. You really take idiocy to new levels.

            • Alexsandr

              quite. If property was saleable or rentable at economic values the private sector would provide. But the banks cant lend to those who have a need because the mortgage applicants fail the affordable criteria, and private landlords cant make enoiugh return on their investment. and are scared off by lefty talks of regulation.

              • Inverted Meniscus

                Try getting the average socialist idiot to understand that.

          • Alexsandr

            cos the leftist scum will fail to make sure the schemes will actually pay back the capital and interest. Then the rest of us end up paying through taxation. Thats the difference.

      • Alexsandr

        IMMIGRATION, tele. wake up.

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Cue goggle eyed and frenzied accusations of racism.

        • telemachus

          Thanks Mr Peter Griffiths
          That actually would never have occurred to me
          Thankyou

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