Fairness and The Labour Party

In my last post I criticised the Labour Party for its opposition to three Conservative policies, Right to Buy, The Under-occupancy Penalty (aka The Bedroom Tax) and their latest policy, Pay to Stay.

“I would also suggest that both Right to Buy and Pay to Stay are on the right side of the argument; the British people on the whole ‘get fairness’, hence the electoral appeal of Conservative policies last May.”

The Shroud Wavers Club http://wp.me/p51Q1B-1L via @testedbylife

Opposition to these policies puts Labour on the wrong side of the argument; the larger electorate, the one Labour need to win over at a general election, are persuaded by the fairness of these policies.

Briefly taking each one in turn… Continue reading

The Labour Party’s problem with Right to Buy

The Conservative Party’s popular manifesto offering of extending RTB to housing association tenants has come under predictable fire from members of the Labour Party.

On a recent BBC Politics Show the leader of Brighton Council, Warren Morgan, outlined the Council’s new scheme for tackling Brighton’s chronic affordable housing problem; the plan to build 1,000 new homes in a joint venture with a housing association, structured as a private partnership, and therefore outside the scope of the proposal to extend RTB to housing associations, unless RTB legislation is extended to the private sector. It is an innovative and clever scheme and one I totally support and welcome. Continue reading

The Labour Leadership contest and the challenge presented by Right to Buy

A short blog on the Labour leadership contest and the latest Conservative Right to Buy policy; the latter usefully exposes shortcomings in the leadership field.

The latest labour leadership contest started, rather too hastily in my opinion, in the aftermath of the May 2015 election defeat, a defeat that I saw as an inevitable consequence of a party with no defined message or vision failing to connect with the voter. The election was lost by Labour rather than won by the Conservatives, and lost badly. Continue reading

Labours slim manifesto offering on the private rental sector

Perhaps I should be grateful for The Labour Party Manifesto policy offering on the private rental sector, after all there was virtually nothing in the previous four manifestos.

This is it, lifted from the manifesto; a handful of lines, it took me a while to find it.

“For the 11 million people who rent privately, we will legislate to make three-year tenancies the norm, with a ceiling on excessive rent rises. A ban on unfair letting agent fees will save renters over £600. We will drive standards up by creating a national register of private landlords.”

So dissecting the above… Continue reading

Housing

With just over 4 weeks to go before votes are cast Labour policy offerings on the housing situation continue to disappoint.

In last Thursday’s leaders debate on the ‘housing crisis’ Ed Miliband repeated the usual mantra on helping young people onto the housing ladder, and with regard to the private rental sector, continued in the same vein of vagueness with promises to encourage long-term agreements, clamp down on letting agencies and deal with rising rents. Continue reading

The Criminalisation of Squatting

Background

The law making squatting in residential property a criminal offence came into effect on 1st September 2012, resulting from an EDM in March of the same year sponsored by Hove MP Mike Weatherly; it was supported by Grant Shapps, and rather disappointedly, Kenneth Clarke, amongst others.

Extract from comment in the Guardian…

“From Saturday, a massively unjust, unnecessary and unaffordable new law will come into force in England and Wales. In the middle of one of the worst housing crises this country has ever seen, up to 50,000 squatters who are currently squatting in empty properties across the UK face becoming criminals, and this because they are occupying abandoned residential properties to put a roof over their heads.” (Guardian, 31st August 2012)

Continue reading