Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/166/7867

From The Socialist newspaper, 14 July 2000

Defend Council housing

IN THE first three years of being in government New Labour has privatised more council homes than the Tories managed in ten years.

Paul Wilcox, Carlisle Socialist Party

Now New Labour plans a big bang, the abolition of council housing. The recent government Green Paper says the government plans to sell off all Britain's remaining 3.2 million council homes at the rate of 200,000 a year, to housing associations and private housing companies.

Campaigns to defend council housing have mushroomed around the country and a national lobby of Parliament is taking place on 19 July in protest.

18 years of Tory rule saw war declared on local councils in the form of massive cuts in cash for council services like housing.

In 1979 Britain spent 18 billion on council housing, now it's down to 5 billion. Tory right to buy rules generated 33 billion, yet no council was allowed to spend any of this money to build new homes to replace those sold to tenants.

Now, the state of many council houses and flats is a source of anger amongst tenants. Council housing has fallen into intolerable disrepair. Yet privatisation of council housing is not the answer.

Privatisation means the transfer of control and running of that service from an accountable public sector to the private sector where unelected boardrooms of businesses and banks make decisions about our housing.

The only basis under which financial lenders will get involved with housing transfer is if they are freed from public accountability in order to maximise profit. The 'Council of Mortgage Lenders' say they would oppose any transfer options "if they are in reality controlled by local authorities" (Housing Today Magazine).

Despite its huge majority, New Labour won't challenge this "institutionalised robbery" by the finance companies. Neither the government nor any New Labour council were elected with a mandate to privatise council housing. But, with a general election next year the government are susceptible to increased pressure and a mass campaign could stop this housing sale of the century.

The money is there to provide high-quality, low-cost council housing. The national housing repairs bill is estimated at 19 billion.

The government is prepared to set aside 12 billion to write off council housing debts to facilitate transfer. So why can't the government hand over this money to council and tenant control?

Better still, why not nationalise the banks and finance companies under democratic workers' control and management and stop them draining councils of funds through interest payments. The banks' and finance companies' massive profits can then be used to fund an extensive programme of investment to provide decent, affordable public housing for all who need it.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 14 July 2000:

We're Sick of the Greedy Bosses

Defend Council housing

Ryton Car workers set to strike

Northern Ireland: Parades crisis needs working-class solution to wider sectarian conflict

Northern Ireland: The Alternative to the annual battleground

Is Democracy Dying Out?

Nigerian workers' leader kidnapped


 

Home   |   The Socialist 14 July 2000   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Council:

triangleCrisis in council services: Labour must fight or stand aside

triangleSafe social-distancing car-cavalcade protests

triangleHomes needed to end overcrowding

triangleWaltham Forest trade unions discuss the fight for PPE and workplace safety

triangleCouncils must demand control of supplies and reversal of austerity

Housing:

triangleStarmer in full retreat over C-19 rents crisis

triangle'Worst crisis in housing since World War Two' - Barking Riverside inquiry into fire

triangleSelf-isolation class divide: decent homes for all!

triangleOrganising in the workplace in the time of coronavirus

Labour:

triangleTrades council debates workers' political representation

triangleSocial partnership is an attempt to shackle trade unions and prevent industrial action

triangleNo return to the 1930s: World War Two and 'a land fit for heroes'

Banks:

triangleThem & Us

trianglePrince Andrew outrage exposes establishment

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

22/5/20

Obituary

Mick Cotter 21-9-57 to 20-5-20

22/5/20

Rolls Royce

Strong union response needed against job cuts

20/5/20

NSSN

Organising to fight for workplace safety

20/5/20

CWU

Postal workers' action results in double victory for union

20/5/20

Peterborough

Posties walk out in Peterborough after manager tests positive

20/5/20

Covid

Johnson claims workplaces safe but HSE cancels inspections

20/5/20

Protest

Safe protests against Tory corona chaos continue

19/5/20

Hull

Trades council debates workers' political representation

18/5/20

Coronavirus

Communities condemn Tory handling of crisis - with safe protests

18/5/20

Coronavirus

Contract tracer speaks out: Tories' plan is outsourced chaos

18/5/20

Coronavirus

Parents - Organise against 'back to school' plans that threaten everyone's safety

13/5/20

West Midlands

West Midlands trade union activists discuss the battle for safety on the front line

13/5/20

RMT

Transport union RMT tells members: refuse to work in unsafe conditions

13/5/20

Boris Johnson

Johnson's plan terrifies me - readers react to lifting lockdown

13/5/20

Housing

Starmer in full retreat over C-19 rents crisis

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999