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From: The Socialist issue 874, 14 October 2015: Organise to fight endless austerity

Search site for keywords: Housing - Homes - Poverty - Tories - Rents - Shelter - Minimum wage - David Cameron - Conservative party - Hull

Workers on Tory 'living' wage can't afford Tory 'starter homes'

Megan Ollerhead, Private tenant

David Cameron announced at Conservative Party conference that he is on a "national crusade" to build 200,000 'starter homes'.

This was met with typical adulation from the mainstream capitalist media.

However, research by homelessness charity Shelter reveals they will only be "affordable" for people earning upwards of £50,000 a year - or £77,000 in London.

There are only three places in England the homes would be cheap enough to buy on the new £9 'National Living (minimum) Wage': Barrow-in-Furness, Southport, and Hull.


These places may be cheap. But they have some of the highest rates of child poverty and fuel poverty in the country. This is a direct result of cuts which began under Labour and continued under the Tories with gusto.

Cameron's approach will never solve the problem. The tens of thousands who marched against the Tories on 4 October know it. Policies like this only make it more difficult for Generation Rent to continue renting, let alone buy our own homes.

Expanding the private property sector will not solve the affordability crisis. Only rent caps, and a mass programme of council house building, can address extortionate private rents and the demand for really affordable, quality housing.

And social development charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimates a real living wage would already be £9.20 - without taking into account rent increases since 2008. The Socialist Party fights for rent caps, more social homes and a minimum wage of £10 an hour now.

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