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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 October 2021

Pandora property speculators fuel housing crisis

photo Spudgun67/CC

photo Spudgun67/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Alasdair Cook, South East London Socialist Party

The Pandora papers have further revealed capitalism's parasitic nature. Britain's housing crisis is shown to serve as a lucrative venture for the super-rich. The investigation revealed that 1,500 UK properties have been bought by offshore firms, totalling an estimated value of £4 billion, mostly in London.

These owners include UK political donors, high profile foreign politicians, and individuals accused of corruption. These 'revelations' aren't exactly surprising, since the super-rich have been buying up high-end property in London at ever-increasing rates, as the wealth of billionaires has soared by 35% during the global pandemic.

Meanwhile, the UK housing crisis is severe and set to get worse. The number of households in the private rented sector has increased by 1.7 million from 2007 to 2017; with 25 to 34-year-olds representing the largest group - 35%, giving credence to the phrase 'generation rent'. Many, unable to afford to move out, stay living with family into their 30s.

Shifting focus towards London paints an ever gloomier picture. Many workers can no longer afford to live in the capital, as seen by recent research by the Royal College of Nursing showing 57% of nurses plan to move out of London. Furthermore, homelessness in London is rapidly rising, with the number of rough sleepers tripling from 2010 to 2018.

With the crisis deepening and the mainstream political parties offering no solutions, there are those who are resisting. This includes Lewisham bus driver Anthony Braithwaite who is standing his ground against eviction by a Labour council. Socialist Party members have been among those campaigning with him.

It is only a socialist programme that can defeat the housing crisis in London and elsewhere, including democratic rent controls, the mass building of decent council homes, and an end to evictions. Property speculation has driven the number of long-term empty homes in London over 30,000. We say, take this property out of the hands of the super rich and use it to house those who need it.

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In The Socialist 13 October 2021:


We need a pay rise!

Fight for the pay rise we deserve

Workers need a pay rise


What we think

Cynical Johnson government no friend of workers


News

Pandora property speculators fuel housing crisis

Social care funding needed now

News in brief


Workplace news

Who runs Unison: lay members or the paid officials?

Place Unite at the head of the anti-Tory movement

Oaks Park pickets vote for more strikes to defeat bullies

National Education Union deputy general secretary election

College strikes continue into third week

60 steelworks scaffs march in second week of all-out strike

DVLA: Workers ballot on further strike action


COP26

Build a mass working-class climate movement with socialist policies


Youth Fight for Jobs

Hundreds march with Youth Fight for Jobs


Winter of Discontent

The 'winter of discontent' - When workers could take no more


Campaigns news

Hackney: Stop closure of children's centres

Durning Hall: Hands off our community space

March to save Stratford arts jobs from Newham Labour attacks


Readers' opinion

Newcastle United takeover - no to billionaire Ashley or Saudi despots

Ridley Road: An engaging story of fighting fascism

Readers' comments


 

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Related links:

Housing:

triangleWaltham Forest: Campaign unites families facing eviction

triangleWest London Socialist Party: The housing crisis

triangleTories concede under cladding pressure but don't go far enough

triangleNana's eviction: Community vs heartless Labour council

triangleAffordable housing for all

London:

triangle10,000 tube workers vote to strike

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Was Stalinism Inevitable?

triangleNorth London NHS - "It's going to be us who saves it"

triangleSolidarity with workers protesting in Kazakhstan

Socialist:

triangleCoventry bin strike continues

triangleWant to fight austerity?

triangleTories on the ropes - Build a workers' alternative

Rich:

triangleSuper-rich get richer, while we can't make ends meet. Join the fightback!

triangleBlair knighted for services to the rich and powerful

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