On Saturday hundreds of people protested in London about the lack of affordable housing and spiralling rents.
As we know London suffers from the twin problems of an expanding population and a housing market geared to meet the demands of the rich.
Yet evidence suggests that wealthy international investors are increasingly targeting the capital’s housing stock with foreign purchasers buying 80% of properties in a series of major Thameside housing developments. About 54,000 homes are either planned or under construction in the most expensive areas of the capital, analysts saying that most will be prices at close to or above £1m. Meanwhile just one new affordable home is being built for more than every five sold in the social housing sector under the government’s revitalised right-to-buy scheme.
So what is to be done?
The protesters are asking for more council houses to be built and for the rich to be taxed. Sounds fair enough. But we actually need more radical measures, for example:
Sorry folks we really do need to limit population movement, without that approach the housing problem will not go away;
Planning rules need to be changed – basically no building for luxury purposes;
Ownership – we do need to control how much people can own and who owns what!
Tax – yes we need to up income tax and income related wealth taxes, (no not a mansion tax, that is really only a fee to allow the rich to continue to carry on as before!);
New house building must be affordable housing!