Monday, 8 April 2013
What goes around, comes around
Interesting that, according to Radio Scotland, the only thing Scots liked about Thatcher's policies was the right to buy your council house, because that is the one policy Calton has always disagreed with. It contributed to house price inflation by allowing people to buy houses at a 70% discount and then sell them on 3 years later at full market value. It massively reduced the number of social rented homes available for those who can't afford to buy, an issue which is still haunting us years later, and the homes left in council ownership were poorer stock in less desirable areas. It was a boon for many who were able to take advantage of it, but not all were prepared for the responsibilities of home ownership, where you can't just pick up the phone and call the council if something goes wrong, and now many of those who bought have reached the age where they are going to have to sell their home to fund care in their declining years, demonstrating that what goes around, comes around. Thatcher was right in that local authorities do not make the best landlords, however the solution was to transfer housing stock to housing associations, not sell it off cheap.