Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/920/23777

From The Socialist newspaper, 12 October 2016

Tories' £5bn for housing not enough

For a socialist plan of mass council home building

Photo James Ivens

Photo James Ivens   (Click to enlarge)

Suzanne Beishon, Waltham Forest Socialist Party

The Tory party conference made its play for our support by appearing to announce £5 billion for a mass house building programme. They gleefully pledged they will be the party to alleviate the huge burden of crippling housing costs on working people.

Chancellor Philip Hammond's speech even seemed to indicate a break from some of Osborne's austerity measures, splashing public cash for the greater good of trying to "solve the housing crisis".

But don't be fooled into thinking this vicious Tory government has suddenly softened up. Far from it.

It is still the same government that last year decided to opt out of legislation stipulating rental properties should be "fit for human habitation". It is still in the same parliament filled with landlord MPs - including 128 Tories, and 50 Labour MPs - who feast off renters to supplement their generous salaries.

So what does this new scheme really mean?

Of the newly pledged money, £2 billion will go on an 'accelerated construction scheme' to free up land for up to 15,000 new homes by 2020. The other £3 billion will go to the 'home building fund' to stimulate 25,000 more in the same timeframe, as part of a long-term plan for 200,000 homes.

The current council house waiting list in England alone is 1.24 million. That doesn't include people not allowed onto the list, and those who despair at even trying. 200,000 mostly private homes will not scratch the surface.

Social housing campaign Shout calculates that building just 100,000 social homes a year would save nearly a trillion pounds in housing benefit in little more than a generation, as well as guaranteeing more safe and secure homes. But the need is greater even than that.

It is only a socialist mass house building plan that is capable of solving the crisis. One that takes the wealth off the super-rich 1% - and uses it democratically to provide secure, affordable homes for all.

Minimum space standards

We were offered a hint of the much darker subtext of Tory plans when Housing Minister Gavin Barwell exclaimed he wanted the private sector to "innovate". But Barwell's unique innovation is that rules on minimum space standards - already the smallest in Europe - should be relaxed. So young people can afford to plunge their meagre savings - if they exist - on uninhabitable boxes.

Barwell even boldly attacked Jeremy Corbyn's pledge to build half a million council houses as being "the denial of people's ambitions and dreams"! He claimed, bizarrely, that it would increase inequality and "widen the divide in society".

These are just slurs aimed at undermining the idea that good quality social housing is a respectable place to live.

The Tories' plans mean developers are made to feel comfortable, building a paltry 40,000 homes over four years, safe in the knowledge the government will shell out for properties that don't sell. Meanwhile, the real and immediate problems of high house prices and soaring rents go untouched.

The government still ignores calls for rent controls. It refuses to block speculators snapping up properties - three in four new builds have gone to foreign investors in recent years. It allows empty homes to keep prices high, and takes no action against overcrowding, slum landlords and more.

It is still the same government that puts the welfare of ordinary people behind the profits of the super-rich. Because ultimately, that's not where Tory interests lie.

They don't lie with ordinary people trapped in a spiralling rental market that means they will likely never be able to afford to save a penny towards a deposit or feel secure in their homes. They lie with big businesses and banks that look to profit from desperate first-time buyers. They lie with landlords excitedly snatching up these new builds to enhance their lucrative rental portfolios.

Kick out the Tories and the Blairite shadows, acting for the big landlords and business owners. Build a party for the 99%.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 12 October 2016:


Housing crisis

Butterfields victory: housing crisis can be beaten

Tories’ £5bn for housing not enough


What we think

Tories whip up division over Brexit...fight for a socialist, internationalist exit

Where next for the BMA junior doctors' dispute


Socialist Party news and analysis

Say no to fracking!

Support the Rotherham 12

Suicidal phone calls: fight to reverse tax credit cuts


Black History Month

Malcolm X: hero of black liberation


Socialist Party workplace news

Union library campaign strikes blow against Bromley Tories

Bin workers' strike - "about more than just pay"

AMEY = A Massive Empty Yard

Ritzy strikers walk-out and rally

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Poland: Mass movement stops total ban on abortion

South Africa: The battle for free education

Shimon Peres - a wolf in sheep's clothing


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Lambeth working class demo against cuts and gentrification

Appeal: Don't let the banks wreck our finances!

Momentum should show Blairites the door, not Socialist Party members!

Lobby to keep vital day centre funding

Bradford day centre campaigners meet to fight closure

Fight to save care homes in Carlisle

Cable Street 80th anniversary demo


Health and social care attacks

Attack on young people's health and social care: urgent fightback needed


The Socialist inbox

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 12 October 2016   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Housing:

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangleNo more fire deaths - ensure safety now!

triangleHousing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right

triangleEast London summit fails to address housing crisis

triangleProtest to pressure Labour to scrap Haringey redevelopment plans

Tories:

triangleThe end of the Tories?

triangleNHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts

triangleTories wreck our NHS

triangleThe Tories must be driven out

Homes:

triangleLedbury tenants fight for decent homes

triangleHurricane Harvey: A tragedy made far worse by capitalism

triangleThem & Us

Government:

triangleJoin the Orgreave Halloween rally

triangleThe fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against capitalist austerity

Council:

triangleSalford Unison condemns pay cuts

Rents:

triangleLandlord licensing under threat - fight back

Market:

triangleCapitalism and human progress

Profit:

triangleProblem gambling soars by 33%

Austerity:

triangleManchester rally discussed unionisation and nationalisation

Housing benefit:

triangleFight expansion of disastrous 'Universal Credit' welfare system

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleCWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

13/10/17

Labour

The end of the Tories?

11/10/17

Tories

Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

11/10/17

Black history

The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against capitalist austerity

11/10/17

Housing

Housing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right

11/10/17

Universal Credit

Major attacks 'Universal Credit', half a million more face poverty

11/10/17

Them & Us

Them & Us

11/10/17

NHS

NHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts

11/10/17

IMF

IMF helps cause inequality it slams

4/10/17

NHS

Tories wreck our NHS

4/10/17

Workers

Monarch abdicates responsibility to workers

4/10/17

Capitalism

Capitalism and human progress

4/10/17

Trump

Bending the knee v Trump

4/10/17

Tories

The Tories must be driven out

29/9/17

Labour

Labour Party conference: Action against establishment sabotage still needed

27/9/17

Anti-austerity

Anti-austerity opposition needed to seize on Tories' weakness

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle17 Oct London: TUC lobby & rally; and London march

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

triangle18 Oct Tower Hamlets Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis - is Corbyn the answer?

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2