Mill Hill East Transport (before the bean counters cut it all)


Sunday, 18 May 2014

The Observer: "The solution to the UK housing crisis? Build on the green belt"

Link to web site

"Housing prices have become a prime driver of inequality. First, between generations: a thirty-something professional worker will now find it harder to buy a house than their exact peer 10 years ago. Second, within generations: the majority of people my age who own a house have drawn heavily on the Bank of Mum and Dad.

"They often end up letting out a spare room to a friend and the ultra-low interest rates of the last five years can mean the rent their mates is paying them is more than their mortgage. So the already well-off get an extra boost.

"Having parents who live in London also confers a huge advantage if you want to work in the arts, media, finance or law, because you can bunk up in the family home while you slog through unpaid internships or further study.

"This state of affairs should worry all the political parties. For Labour, there's an obvious story about social mobility going into reverse and about the rich becoming richer. For the Lib Dems, there's a chance to win back some of the young voters who defected over tuition fees.

"But perhaps the Tories have most at stake. The assumption has long been that homeowners become more conservative. More importantly, the Tories' core message – that with hard work comes rewards – is dented by a quick look at the housing market."