|Dave has a slight problem with his manifesto launch|
Along with many others I am seething over the news that the Tories threaten that if the electorate is so stupid as to re-elect them, they will force Housing Associations* to sell off their stock at a 35% discount to their tenants.
Right to Buy was brought in by Thatcher in the 1980s. Thousands of council houses were sold off cheap, and councils were forbidden to use the money to build more houses, so they had to put homeless families in Temporary Accommodation - B&B, hotels and hostels. Not only is this situation humiliating and stressful, leading to breakup of families, but also it is ten times more expensive in the long run to put people in TA instead of building houses for them.
And what happened to the houses that were sold to their tenants?
Up to half of them have ended up in the hands of private landlords.
In short, councils are now having to pay Housing Benefit to private landlords to provide houses for tenants who in years gone by would have been offered council houses at a fraction (i.e. 1/10th) of the cost.
This is insane irrational madness. Economic stupidity. Yet it is being offered to the British Nation in all solemness by BBC News as a serious policy by a serious political party, unchallenged and unquestioned.
People renting from Housing Associations tend not to be overly well off. Only 23% of tenant households are in full time work, and a further 11% are in part-time work.
However, this matters not to Dodgy Dave, whose cronies will be perfectly happy to offer them mortgages. They may not be prime mortgages, but what would it matter if they are just be a bit, well, sub-prime? What could possibly go wrong?
Even the Torygraph calls the policy "Economically Illiterate and Morally Wrong".
If the Green Party offered such a policy we would have been laughed to scorn.
Conservatives offer it, and it is just reported as fact.
Our democratic process is sick.
Vote Green for peaceful political revolution.
*even the legality of this is questionable - Housing Associations are supposed to be independent of Government. They are talking to their lawyers.