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Matt M
Matt M
7 months ago

“People – rightly – recognise that building more homes while doing nothing to bring immigration down is like running up the down escalator”: Kemi Badenoch, 2022

Last edited 7 months ago by Matt M
Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
7 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

And that is why the country voted Leave. Net migration in 2021 c.240K
Fewer Eastern Europeans, more 3rd Worlders!

Last edited 7 months ago by Jeremy Smith
Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Well one of the East Europeans has just murdered a nine year old girl in Boston, Lincs, a town that was already the murder capital of England on a per capita basis. And an East European killed a six year old English girl in Bolton a couple of years ago.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
7 months ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

No, it is not OK and I was not suggesting that, although it does suggest some sort of dispute between two Lithuanian families.

Matt M
Matt M
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Correct! We – Leave voters – gave the politicians the means to control immigration. Now they need to do it.

They also need to stop illegal immigration otherwise it will cancel out any gains we get from reducing legal immigration. So they need to get Rwanda plan up and running and expanded.

I would suggest, as a first step, we double the minimum salary requirement for work visas to £50k per annum. Also we should not expand the Hong Kong scheme beyond British passport holders, as some are suggesting.

On housing specifically we should also look at overseas investors buying UK property.

If we can get net migration to something like 100k pa and build houses at a rate of 200k per year (as we did in 2018 and 19), we might just get on top of this.

Last edited 7 months ago by Matt M
Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
7 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

£50k per annum

So you are going to pay all those migrants working in nursing homes 50K a year?
From 1997-2016 c. 66% of migrants were non Europeans (Free movement). Plenty of control there.

Last edited 7 months ago by Jeremy Smith
John Serrano-Davey
John Serrano-Davey
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Last time I “fact checked” these topics, I recall that a newcomer to this country has to earn £42k p/a in order to be a “net contributor” financially.
So ok, maybe £50k is too high, but certainly above £42k might be reasonable.

Of course I fully understand the fact that contributions do our society aren’t purely measured in money- but to allow anyone into this country who is NOT a net contributor costs money. Can we afford it?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
7 months ago

The facts (not opinion) are that UK:
1) labor force is aging
2) low productivity workforce
So depending on the study UK needs around 200-300K to deal with its structural issues.
Farage once said that there is more to a nation than GDP growth (and I agree). But the people that take Farage’s position need to accept the consequences of the policy. Lower growth, lower tax take and worst public services. All good but again no “cakeism”!
I gave you the example of nursing homes ( i know the sector very well) because of cakesim. The Tory party promised to not raise taxes but also fix the sector.
Well we all know what happened – and that it is the political and economic reality.

Last edited 7 months ago by Jeremy Smith
polidori redux
polidori redux
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

“But the people that take Farage’s position need to accept the consequences of the policy.”
Quite prepared to do so, Jeremy. My home is not a get rich scheme

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
7 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Quite prepared to do so, 

Yes, but your fellow citizens are not. Think of TM’s “dementia tax”.

polidori redux
polidori redux
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

“Yes, but your fellow citizens are not.” 
How do you know that?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
7 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Voting record.
Again, think of “dementia tax”.

Matt M
Matt M
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

I’m not really sure about your facts to be honest. I’m always sceptical of productivity figures. Low productivity could well be due to an oversupply of cheap, low skill labour deterring investment in process efficiencies. Also our population structure is not so unhealthy – our largest cohort is 30-35 years old (largely due to immigration). But no doubt people are living long lives and so we have a large retired cohort (about 9% of the population is over 65).
If we were to increase the minimum salary limit, it would need to be done over a period of years to allow for automation to reduce manpower requirements and for recruitment and training of British kids into the jobs left vacant by reduced immigration.
What we really need is a plan that takes into account things like GP availability, housing starts and school places when deciding overall immigration allowances.
Also it is worth pointing out that the 240k work visas issued in 2021 is up from 190k in 2019 and so probably includes pent up demand built up during 2020 when entry to the UK was restricted. Getting from 190k to 100k over say ten years while we continue to build 200k houses a year (as per 2018 and 2019) is tough but not impossible.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
7 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Many moons ago an economist acquaintance told me that low GDP is almost always due to lack of investment in capital equipment, and that UK’s notoriously low GDP is because employers can get low skilled, low paid workers, removing the need to invest and thus keeping dividends up – until it all crashes around them.

Ian Gribbin
Ian Gribbin
7 months ago

He was right. We knew all of this decades ago. After Keynes died he left the post-Keynesian group – Joan Robinson in particular – whose genius should have been awarded a Nobel.

What keeps entrepreneurs on their toes (and insures investment) is a tight labour force.

Government stimulating capital expenditure (investment in productive equipment) is actually self defeating since it results in higher unemployment.

Business investment should come as a result of the natural cost pressures of the market – mostly labour.

Oh dear god, the wisdom we have lost…..

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
7 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

I’m always sceptical of productivity figures.

Based on what?

Low productivity could well be due to an oversupply of cheap labor

You are going to replace nurses, baristas, cleaners with robotics?
It is the structural economy of UK. You can not replace jobs in retail, hospitality, food services with robots.

Matt M
Matt M
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Ways to replace humans, off the top of my head:
retail
Online shopping replacing shop staff
Amazon Fresh stores without tills
Ocado’s fully automated warehouses
hospitality and food services
ordering from a menu via app or console rather than from a human
collecting your own food and drinks Nando’s style
“dark kitchens” supplying different restaurants at the same time to achieve economies of scale with fewer staff
Using Uber cab drivers to deliver food as well as taking passengers
baristas
Self service coffee machines as seen in every petrol station in the land. I’ve seen videos of very upmarket ones in the US.
………………………………………………………
I’m sure there are labour-saving, productivity-improving options for nursing and cleaning which need upfront investment.
No one will make that investment if they know cheap labour will always be available. The best example is the automated carwash – they used to be the only alternative to washing your own car but the upfront cost for the entrepreneur was high. Then along can the EU expansion and hiring a dozen men to wash cars by hand become the most lucrative option. Now very low paid labour is cut off, expect to see a return to the carwash.
Start a steady and predictable yearly increase in the minimum salary requirement on work visas and business people will make the switch. Especially if we retain the high tax write-off on capital equipment.

Last edited 7 months ago by Matt M
Milton Gibbon
Milton Gibbon
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Retail/food services – self-service tills are?
Hospitality – self check in at hotels/holiday rentals has become more common.

There are jobs that are harder to do with robots but having been to the Tottenham Hotspur stadium it is easy to see how in the future that could all be done without staff – cashless tills, automatic beer pouring, ordering over the phone at restaurants.

Last edited 7 months ago by Tom Ware
Ian Gribbin
Ian Gribbin
7 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

A rather unpopular view of the collapse in productivity is adding another 50% to the labour force since 1970!

This is not a misogynistic comment, merely an observation that productivity has fallen in what appears to be a rather correlated way.

It makes logical sense too: large increases to the labour force would have this impact.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
7 months ago

I’ve never really understood this. Surely, the less one takes from a society in income, the less one has to contribute to it in order to be a “net” positive contributor? So a CEO earning £2mn per year with share options better well work very hard to demonstrate that they are clearly making a massive gross contribution, whereas the bar for someone working long hours in a high pressured, under-rewarded job in a care home that few other people want or are properly qualified to do is much, much lower.

Like a lot of other things, it’s inverted.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
7 months ago

The bosses have their money and as ever want more of yours.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

“ 3rd Worlders!” Where did you learn such an offensive term? USA?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
7 months ago

Yes,
It was a widely used term. Now people use the “global south”…whatever…

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Precisely, WAS not IS.

Chris Parkins
Chris Parkins
7 months ago

Ooh, is it not PC to say ‘third world’ any more? Good to know, thanks. It’s difficult to keep up sometimes!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
7 months ago
Reply to  Chris Parkins

Apparently not! Although I am old enough to use a far earlier and arguably ruder term that I obviously cannot repeat here, on pain of death.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
7 months ago
Reply to  Chris Parkins

I believe ‘developing countries’ is what you say now. Until, of course, that starts getting used as a flippant pejorative and we have to learn the new way not to ‘exclude’ people with our language.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
7 months ago

It’s Majority World now as most of the world lives on $10 a day or less. I was told ‘developing’ countries is impolite as it suggests that countries are not fully developed unless they adopt Western standards of living.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
7 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Oh dear, I’m behind the curve again. I’m off to cancel myself. Tatty-bye and sorry for any trauma!

Last edited 7 months ago by Al M
Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
7 months ago

🙂

Adam Bacon
Adam Bacon
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

But we don’t have enough native manual workers (hospitality, airline industries etc) or skilled workers (health service etc), so what do you propose to do about it?

Immigrants are for the most part motivated, aspirational people – just getting here demonstrates that. Just the sort of people you Tories should like!

Immigration is a complex issue and there are no straightforward solutions. However, keeping Johnny Foreigner out is sadly not an option. The (mostly Tory) government and liberal market forces have demonstrably failed to provide increased facilities and infrastructure for those that have arrived over the last few decades. Meanwhile, the Progressives have pandered to the ‘cultural needs’ of incomers, rather than insisting they integrate into the country they were so desperate to be part of.

Araceli Egypt
Araceli Egypt
7 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

good

Martin Butler
Martin Butler
7 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Unfortunately no one seem to notice that we didn’t have high levels of unemployment pre-Brexit so its not as if all those ‘free-movement’ Europeans were doing nothing. They were actually in employment, so as soon as FM stopped we had to increase non-EU immigration which is what has happened. The only way to decrease immigration is to change the structure of the economy so we can run things more efficiently with fewer people, but of course that means government interference which goes against the whole ideology of the ‘free market’. So we go round in circles.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
7 months ago

Six days ago James McSweeny wrote and interesting article about urban planning in the UK and how it might be improved. There is no doubt that the planning system strangles development here and does nothing to provide local amenities for new developments.

However, the comment that gained the most votes by far was a brief post stating: “Just stop importing people: Learn to do without the cheap servants.”

Until people feel that immigration has been brought under control they will not support planning reform to create more housing and the necessary infrastructure of local services. They will not feel that new housing will be erected to improve their locality and their community rather than provide for an endless influx of immigrants.

Cobbler 91
Cobbler 91
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Immigrants or no immigrants, older homeowners will never support anything that might lower the price of their house.

Alice In wonderland
Alice In wonderland
7 months ago
Reply to  Cobbler 91

You are generalising and making assumptions. I am an older homeowner and since I only own one house as do most of our friends, it makes no difference to me whatsoever how much it’s worth, its my home. If the price is halved it makes no difference since the only people that will benefit from the sale are my children when I’m dead,I would happily see the value come down to benefit all the young struggling to own a home just as my husband and I did. Not all young people are in the same boat either, both of my children are already way better off than us lucky boomers, both earning better wages than the minimum we earned and both owning bigger houses.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
7 months ago

The time it may make a difference is if you have to go into a care home, and don’t want to be in one of the storage units mascarading as care-homes. Anything decent is extortionate and, for most people, the proceeds of their houses will be needed.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

First of all we need to know the mix of immigrants
– ‘servants”
– students
– high skilled workers
– wealthy people probably stealing from their home country and settling here
– unskilled, often illegal

I seem to feel the most outrage is about the last category, but would agree bringing in low skill employees to wash cars, drive Ubers or deliver food (category 1) is a stupid idea.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
7 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

In my experience those pushing for immigration to replace labor shortages never have their own jobs in mind.

Cobbler 91
Cobbler 91
7 months ago

As a 31 year old and often staunch Conservative Party backer, I don’t see a reason to vote for them other than Labour probably being worse for the country. I’m fortunate in that my wife and I actually do own our home (very recently too) but that was down to a mixture of bank of mum and dad, wife having no life while living with her parents and me inheriting from a late family member. Most young couples are probably not in that position and are condemned to spend their lives paying someone else’s mortgage. What a life eh…

The Conservatives are losing in every demographic aged 55 downwards. Fewer people in those younger brackets have access to capital, and therefore any reason to conserve the system they are living in. This is an extremely dangerous place to be putting the country in and I doubt it will end well.

tom j
tom j
7 months ago
Reply to  Cobbler 91

I don’t see a reason to vote for them other than Labour probably being worse for the country”
Welcome to the rest of your life. For all the fury of the young Tory’s article (well he calls himself a Tory even if he seems to want to put his faith in politicians) it’s this simple choice he will have to make each time he gets to the ballot box, as will you & I. The Tories are the worst, except for all the other parties.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
7 months ago
Reply to  tom j

Luckily there is so much more (beyond voting) that we can do to resist this rot: we can stand up to bullying landlords by joining tenants unions, help clean up politics by supporting investigative journalism, fight eroding work conditions and increasing child poverty by standing with the trade unions etc (and who knows, maybe the Tories will thank us – a lot of them did say they wanted us to ‘take back control’)

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
7 months ago

If Labour ever got their act together the Tories could be out of power for a generation. A manifesto of protecting workers rights, building more houses (both council and private), coming out in support of single sex spaces and improving public services would be a vote winner, alas I can’t ever see it happening

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
7 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

protecting workers rights

As in paying higher wages…or does modern Britain still sends children up the chimney!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Sadly ‘real’ coal fires have been banned, so there is no necessity for ‘pygmy’ chimney sweeps, even in such salubrious areas as Clapton Pond.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
7 months ago

My parents still have a coal fire. As a child I was regularly sent up the chimney to the sound of Mary Poppins. It didn’t do me any harm.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
7 months ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

‘Character building’ as we used to say.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
7 months ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I really was sent up chimneys as a child…. cleaning big Lancashire boilers.
I am not sure that it didn’t do me any harm.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
7 months ago

Clapham not Clapton

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

‘ You’ used to live on the 38 Bus Route close to its terminus at Clapton Pond didn’t you?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
7 months ago

Angel (19/38 to Green Park)

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Thus Clapton is far closer to you than Clapham. Incidentally how was Luxembourg?

John Serrano-Davey
John Serrano-Davey
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Real wages- including the minimum wage and working wage- are at an all time high at the lower end, are they not?
if we want those benefits to remain and continue improving, inflation is the real threat, so one could argue that this has been largely due to the Tories rattling Corbyn,s “magic money tree”.
So- we are currently pretty close to “peak tax-take” (Laffer curve and all that) and cannot “print our way out of trouble” any further, so if you are genuinely concerned about people on low wages, what’s your plan?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
7 months ago

So- we are currently pretty close to “peak tax-take” (Laffer curve and all that) 

You are not, Northern Europe has a higher tax take.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
7 months ago

Yet median wages still can’t afford a house in many cases, so I don’t believe wages at the lower end are higher than they have ever been.
Inequality is at record levels, and wages as a proportion of company expenditure is much lower than it was 40 years ago. You’re correct we can’t print our way out of trouble, but the current setup is also untenable in the long term

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Higher wages would be ideal yes

John Sullivan
John Sullivan
7 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

How are “higher wages” going to fix the issue re. property affordability? The average UK house price is close to 10 times the average wage – are you going to double wages to deal with that, or do you just not have a clue?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
7 months ago
Reply to  John Sullivan

If wages doubled then house prices would only be 5x the average wage wouldn’t they and we wouldn’t be talking of a housing crisis.
Whilst I’m not proposing a doubling of wages (the house prices are a seperate issue) it would be fair to expect some of the money from our increased productivity to “trickle down” as we were promised rather than simply pooling at the top increasing inequality.
More money in workers pockets is ultimately good for society, as they have more money to spend on productive businesses that create jobs and growth, the states income tax increase allowing for better public services and less people are in need of benefits to survive

Ken Charman
Ken Charman
7 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Without “controlling immigration” the rest is puff

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
7 months ago
Reply to  Ken Charman

Immigration is an important part of that, and I believe it has been abused to keep wages down yes

Martin Spartfarkin
Martin Spartfarkin
7 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Actually Corbyn offered three out of four of those (plus suggesting women only train carriages) and was shot down in flames, so……

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
7 months ago

The problems for Mr Corbin were: the accusations of anti-semitism, the Labour Party’s stand on BREXIT, and some of the more vocal far-left Labour MPs and activists. Many of Labour’s actual policies were quite popular within the country.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
7 months ago

It’s been well documented that some of Corbyns policies were reasonably popular amongst the electorate. Unfortunately Corbyn himself was completely unelectable so it was all rather academic. Likewise Boris manifesto of levelling up and Brexit was popular, but he appears to have had no intention of ever actually getting round to enacting it

Ian Gribbin
Ian Gribbin
7 months ago

Great piece, I totally empathise with your generation.

You’ve been effed up the arse by quack economists bought by the rich, or those in Treasury hoping to be bought by the rich. Together with the imbeciles at the BoE, they conspire, mostly out of outrageous self interest to keep the economy massively suboptimal.

Returns on Capital are ludicrously high – all gouged out of worker incomes, or via som shit Truss trade deal that only expand deficits: every quid we run up in public debt, at least 30% is shit out to Stuttgart or Shanghai! And that’s not even including the investment that goes there instead of the UK.

We don’t produce anything anyone wants apart from dog shit media – like Reality TV.

In the meantime the Boomers whine about interest rates and come begging when they fck it all up in the credit crisis!

We should never have bailed the banks – we should have nationalised the lot. House prices should have been left to implode and find their own level, together with the still massively overvalued sterling.

The Boomer generation are thieves par excellence – we privatised everything and they got all that too.

Now they squeeze the working generation for more and more just so we can pay their disgusting bloated pensions, and the shit states of health they’re in costs us a fortune on the NHS.

Sadly the Tory prescription of low tax is never going to work this time around: we’ve privatised everything, what is left to be cut?!

I could go on forever but I’ll part with a final thought: the system is more corrupt and more inefficient, than ever it was in more Keynesian times.

The only thing I see changing the system is another full blown asset/house price collapse: this time the working classes won’t be fooled by bailouts or QE.

What should have been carried out in 2008 will finally be forced upon society: capital will take the punishment not labour….

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
7 months ago
Reply to  Ian Gribbin

Making foreign ownership of U.K. housing prohibitively expensive would be a great lever in reducing the cost. Taking a similar approach to 2nd homes would do likewise. Without these, we will still hopefully see a gradual reduction of 10-15% over the next few years – with higher interest rates to keep them lower.

Last edited 7 months ago by Ian Barton
Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
7 months ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Making foreign ownership of U.K. housing prohibitively expensive would be a great lever in reducing the cost.

No it will not.


John Serrano-Davey
John Serrano-Davey
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

You come across as rather abrupt this morning.
Please expand on your responses as I’m sure many would find your points of view interesting.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Of course it would. Anything that can help reduce demand would have an effect on house prices

Ian Gribbin
Ian Gribbin
7 months ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Charge CGT on primary residences too

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
7 months ago
Reply to  Ian Gribbin

I agree with most of what you say. As for this from the article:
‘London, host to some of the most productive financial and legal services in the world,’
Surely the correct word here is ‘extractive’, not ‘productive’. 

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
7 months ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

An salient point. I remember about 5/6 years ago I read an article in Prospect Magazine which precisely made this point, that London actually is “parasitic” on the rest of the nation, drawing in educated young people thus impoverishing the smaller cities and towns. I believe the article concluded that an overhaul of the present capitalist system was needed; I don’t remember the details, I would have to read it again. However, I found it interesting that someone was challenging the idea that London and it’s systems is an unalloyed good for the rest of the nation.

Ian Gribbin
Ian Gribbin
7 months ago

Well you could look at it this way Linda: the financial collapse cost us around 3.5x GDP. That’s decades of bank industry profits. We had to bail that out as a nation largely through austerity. So figure out now whether London is a net positive or negative?!

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
7 months ago

The same argument has been made about immigration – that developing countries remain undeveloped because their skilled people leave for greener pastures.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
7 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

This is an argument I seem to be having frequently with friends. We should be training our own doctors (for example) not “stealing” those whose education was paid for by tax payers in poorer countries. Morally it seems very dubious to me.

Richard Rous
Richard Rous
7 months ago

It’s a very good article. Your grasp of the economics and the anti-conservative politics is ALMOST spot on.
But it’s worse than you think, on two counts. First, there’s this trite observation that “an Englishman’s home is his castle.” We should be the party of property rights (on your own property). Instead we’re the party of those-with-property being able to dictate to others what can happen on their property. As though everyone’s house wasn’t a “development” once.
“Protect the countryside from houses at all costs” is the cry. But only as regards NEW houses. My semi-serious proposition is that anyone who opposes development should be required to enter a sort of reverse lottery, the “winner” of which would see their house bulldozed and their garden returned to meadows and hardwood forests. The countryside is more important than housing, right?
But the second bit is even worse. It’s not just that the young are propping up the old via pensions and NHS (as you say) while being denied home ownership (as you say). It’s that such a massive slab of the AFTER-TAX income of the young goes towards…those massive house prices that make home-owners so colossally wealthy.
What Conservatives should stand for? The freedom to use your hard-earned money to make your life better, as you choose…and if you choose to aspire to own a home, or a better home, or a home with a garden, that should be your freedom. Join the demand side of the housing market, and pay those on the supply side to provide what you want. Instead, what do we get? A vertical supply curve for housing…where every penny that workers are willing-to-pay for housing goes NOT into new housing, but into the swollen pockets of existing homeowners. Quantitative easing and demand side boosts, likewise, all a a boon for homeowners.

Nick Harrison
Nick Harrison
7 months ago

You grew up owning pigs? A privilege many could only dream of.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
7 months ago

Post Brexit, the Conservatives are no longer conservative. They’re a radical nationalist party, addicted to wild upheavals and grand experiments. And if you like that sort of thing, vote for them. But don’t kid yourself that they are conservative any more.
I’d love to see a strict rule that all mortgages have to be tied only to one household income, and further confined to a max 2.5 times that one income. That’d soon put a stop to the property market gallop.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
7 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

The Tories haven’t been conservative since the 60’s. Thatcher was a turbo charged economic liberal

John Sullivan
John Sullivan
7 months ago

Nice rant. Almost completely wrong of course, but … nice rant.
Yes, the price of property is ludicrous. But it was Labour under Blair who opened the floodgates to uncontrolled immigration – not that the Tories have fixed anything – without any coherent plan of how to manage the resulting infrastructure demands as a whole, not just housing.
The Tories *have* betrayed the country, especially the young, with their zealous adoption of the climate nonsense, the Covid cult, identity politics and all the other neo-Marxist garbage – but not a mention of any of that from you.
You claim to “lean heavily to the Right on economics”. Perhaps, but on the rest, my guess is that you are just one more indoctrinated product of the Long March. Delusional.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
7 months ago
Reply to  John Sullivan

The Tories have been in power for 12 years. The fact they’ve done nothing to stop immigration means they own the problem just as much as Blair, maybe even more so as the bulk of Blair’s immigration was from the EU which we couldn’t stop while being a member, whereas the Tories is from non EU countries over which we have total control of numbers

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
7 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You’re right, but in my mind Tories and Republicans seem to be nothing more than controlled opposition. I no longer put my faith (not that I ever really did) in politicians to improve my living standards. As far as I’m concerned they are ugly celebrities playing a role in a scripted reality show. They have as much credence as the contestants in Love Island.

William Cameron
William Cameron
7 months ago

You omitted Immigration. Exactly why is the Tory Party importing half a million new people every year. It may put up GDP but it reduces GDP per capita and destroys public services .

Bryan Dale
Bryan Dale
7 months ago

The country is being run by the civil service. None of the Tory leaders over the past twenty years have had the competence to stand up to them and overrule their leftist advice.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
7 months ago
Reply to  Bryan Dale

Precisely, well said!
But how do we overthrow this Civil Service behemoth?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
7 months ago
Reply to  Bryan Dale

the competence 

British people voted for them.

Douglas H
Douglas H
7 months ago

Seriously: going from mucking out pigs to working in financial services, that’s progress?

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
7 months ago
Reply to  Douglas H

Ha! A different take on The Rake’s Progress, perhaps?

Martin Spartfarkin
Martin Spartfarkin
7 months ago

So this guy’s family benefitted from council housing (Labour initiative), was enabled to rise out of poverty by free university education (Labour initiative) and he decided his natural home was the Tory party… ‍♂️

Last edited 7 months ago by Martin Spartfarkin
Buddy Mason
Buddy Mason
7 months ago

I identify as conservative, however currently I will be voting Labour in the next election to punish the Conservative party for the very reasons stated above.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
7 months ago
Reply to  Buddy Mason

“ I identify as conservative”, but now consider myself “political fluid” and want to self harm to show the Conservative party my pain.

Cobbler 91
Cobbler 91
7 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

The Conservatives are only winning among voters aged 55+. If you’re of working age, why would you vote for them?

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
7 months ago
Reply to  Cobbler 91

Masochism or a determination to see your country slide even further into irrelevance?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
7 months ago

From the Spectator (why Liz is ahead):

‘Liz trails on electability and likeability, but remember we elected Iain Duncan Smith in 2001. Our members have their own priorities – they don’t really care as much about the big picture,’ argues a senior MP. ‘Voters’ emotion will trump their logic.’

The Truss message is one of optimism, even if its realism has been questioned. ‘They [Team Sunak] are running a pretty negative campaign,’ says a Truss backer. ‘If people think there is an imaginary river, you don’t tell them there isn’t, you build them an imaginary bridge.’ This is why Truss has been quick to accuse Sunak of peddling Project Fear – despite the fact she was on the other side of it during the Remain campaign.

Last edited 7 months ago by Jeremy Smith
William Cameron
William Cameron
7 months ago

Sorry chum. Building more houses will not make them cheaper. You need interest rates put back to their long term average of 7-10%. That will reduce house prices and make them more affordable for young families.
(The way it works is the monthly payments stay the same but at higher interest rates house prices fall to fit the affordable monthly payments )

Martin Butler
Martin Butler
7 months ago

The author seems to be labouring under the misapprehension that the ‘free market’ is a straightforward idea. All markets are regulated. The minimum wage is a regulation, building regulations are regulations, statutory maternity leave is a regulation, so the planning system is just another set of regulations. Whether you regard a particular set of regulations as an unnecessary impediment to the operation of the ‘free market’ is simply a matter of what goes against your interests. If you are a well-off baby boomer living in an unspoiled village, planning regulations are an important bulwark against the destruction of rural England. If you are a millennial renter desperate to buy at an affordable house, planning regulations are just NIMBYism. If you are an expectant mother statuary maternity leave is an important protection for family life. If you are an employer losing a key member of your staff its government interference in the market place. There is no such thing as the free market so lets stop pretending there is, and certainly, as Liz Truss will discover, deregulation does not lead to Nirvana.

Steve Elliott
Steve Elliott
7 months ago

My three daughters, who are all left wingers, would have laughed their socks off at the photo of those two young men at the top.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

Perhaps Unherd could arrange a meeting between your daughters and the two young men, or the writer of this piece. I’m sure it would make for a good video, with Freddie to guide the conversation.
The nice but dim meet the daft but left…

Last edited 7 months ago by Fraser Bailey
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
7 months ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Forget Freddie, I’d get Harry Hill to do it. FIGHT!!!

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
7 months ago

Glad that the centrality of the housing crisis to our current productivity problems is being increasingly recognised, but it takes more than just de-rigging the market and removing barriers to planning (which they’ve already massively streamlined – 9/10 planning applications are granted these days). Instead the government needs to be more active in making sure new builds are affordable, and if possible build council houses (this has virtually stopped). Lots of houses are being built by developers, but as with products in any insufficiently regulated market, they’re being produced to meet demand rather than need (hence why there are more houses than households in the UK).
The myth that planning is the main barrier to building has too long been peddled by publications and think tanks too afraid to stand up to the interests of landowners who have the Conservative party in a death grip.

Philip Burrell
Philip Burrell
7 months ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

You are absolutely right. It isn’t planning that is the problem, it’s developers controlling supply and ensuring that the 20% profit margin that is built into every application is strictly adhered to. If that margin is under threat then they pressurise planning officers, who have to meet government housing targets, to accept less affordable housing on new developments and reduce their Section 106 commitments. That results in less money for all local amenties such as the NHS, schools, play areas, sports facilities etc. Why would you build more houses if you can make a shedload of money by controlling the supply? Housebuilders are a gold mine for their executives and their shareholders not to mention landowners. I should know as I sold my empty knitwear factory to one in 2006!
Of course they also make significant contributions to Tory Party coffers.

Last edited 7 months ago by 84r9d6zjn9
Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
7 months ago
Reply to  Philip Burrell

Thank you Philip. This is also the conclusion I came to when writing a masters thesis on the causes of the housing crisis and potential solutions. And to nail the point, here’s a handy visual:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EEAPadRXsAERWIi?format=png&name=small
‘The problem is the planning system.’ Discuss

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
7 months ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Spot on! The local councils should be allowed to build council houses but the Tories have taken their funding away and given it to Persimmon et al…..

Ludwig van Earwig
Ludwig van Earwig
7 months ago

Oh please, not another “betrayed” or “destroyed” tagline.
The supposed Tory values that the author describes represent neoliberalism, not conservatism.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
7 months ago

I never cease to be amazed by the middle class arrogance that assumes that others should start and build businesses that will employ their sons and daughters as lawyers and accountants? Have a look at Britain’s zenith when those middle classes in the 19th century were socially and financially by passed by entrepreneurs, often from Jewish and Quaker backgrounds, excluded from education, who built financial, industrial, food, brewing, confectionary, glass making, manufacturing and other businesses from scratch, and were enobled with Peerages and Baronetcies…. and neatly went off and bought large estates, post agricultural decline, and married into old aristocratic families… leaving the middle classes to work for them and still say ” leounge, toylitte, settee” and worry about the neighbours?!!!!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
7 months ago

Precisely the same phenomena occurred in 19th century Germany France & Italy but unlike this ‘sceptered isle’ will its all it leounges & settees, it didn’t, to their eternal shame, end well did it?

Richard Courtemanche
Richard Courtemanche
7 months ago

At least, they have the required suspenders!

Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
7 months ago

What if the immigrants dress conservatively like the two natty blokes in the pic. Love those suspenders !!

Peter Styles
Peter Styles
7 months ago

The single most important issue facing young enterprising youngsters hoping for a real stake in society.
If whoever wins and ignores this fact will over see the decimation of the Conservative Party for a generation.
Please, please! address this sclerotic planning system or accept the consequences.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter Styles

Bang on about the importance of the housing crisis – but it’s not the planning system that’s the problem! 9/10 planning permission requests are approved these days. As Philip B says above, the problem is that landowners are not incentivised to sell land and developers are not incentised to build on it until they can get the best possible price for it (and guess what, they aren’t donating the proceeds to affordable housing schemes for struggling families)
If you don’t believe me:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EEAPadRXsAERWIi?format=png&name=small

Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
7 months ago

Spot on … Housing has to be a priority and for that to happen the planning laws need radical reform.
But its difficult for any change when the State is so big … we must cut the size of the State which means reducing the size of the Civil Service and abolishing quango’s which have no place in our democracy

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
7 months ago

Yes I remember Cameron’s Bonfire of the Quangos but went on to increase them while he was in charge

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
7 months ago

Hard but true, there is no hope until the old die and no longer are an influence in politics.Maybe Covid was aimed at culling the elderly vote and unfreezing wealth for the young.

John Lee
John Lee
7 months ago

There are a number of important fact here which politicians in general and the Treasury in particular choose to ignore.
1) To keep up with the housing needs the country needs to build upwards of 300,000 houses per year. This equates to a city the size of Birmingham every ten years. This is a known fact. When was a building programme of this magnitude last (or ever) included in any Parties manifesto?
2) Immigration, legal and illegal, is running at circa 300,000 persons per annum. Therefore building a city the size of Birmingham every decade will get you precisely nowhere; you would simply be playing catch up.
There is an answer to this which includes a long term strategy for growth, not simply the four year politics cycle, Strict limitations on all immigration based on business needs and most importantly of all getting control of the Treasury which has become the enemy within.

john c
john c
7 months ago

Not me.

Pam Tonothy
Pam Tonothy
7 months ago

Can somebody please tell me what “jam” it is that boomers are being “handed” now? FFS! What hate-mongering cobblers! With wages and prices rising and pensions stagnant, yeah we’ve never had it so good have we? Get a grip and stop picking on the elderly James, you disgraceful little creep.

Last edited 7 months ago by Pam Tonothy
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
7 months ago
Reply to  Pam Tonothy

I’d be inclined to put it down to the callowness of relative youth, except that someone whose family “pulled itself up by it’s bootstraps” should have the sense to realise that whingeing is so extremely unedifying.
So cut your Tory party membership card up, James, you’ll be begging for a replacement when you finally learn that whatever your current gripes are with the party, the alternatives are all far, far worse and would have you hiding under your kitchen table within a year or so of being elected, if you’re foolish enough to go down that route.
Far better, if you actually believe in what you say, to stay and fight for those principles. Very hard work, for sure, but you’re not afraid of that, are you?

Last edited 7 months ago by Steve Murray
Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
7 months ago
Reply to  Pam Tonothy

I don’t think ‘handed’ is quite true, nor that you’ve never had it so good, but there are features of the current system that make older generations (those more likely to vote) better off – the Triple Lock, higher homeownership rates and also the fact that stagnant wages for the last 40 years mean each generation is generally poorer than the last..
https://www.if.org.uk/research-posts/age-bias-government-spending-by-age/

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
7 months ago
Reply to  Pam Tonothy

It’s all stated in the article. The triple lock pension, the fact their incomes grew faster than working age peoples wages, high ownership rates, and expensive end of life healthcare costs that they expect the young to fund, the same working youngsters who are paying record rents, are much less likely to be able to afford a house and who are facing the largest tax burden since the war.
With all that in mind I’m amazed the young aren’t more bitter than they are

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
7 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

A few points:

  1. For some pensioners with a work pension the triple lock seems a good deal, but for many others, particularly those on the old pension, less than £7400 is not a lot to live on.
  2. These young people when they get old will also expect those younger than themselves to fund their old age.
  3. I did a search of how much a person could get from a high street buildng society, and for 2 working people one earning £20k and the £25k they could get enough, and be able to pay it back, to buy a two bed flat (newish build) in Reading. It would not be possible to do it on one salary as the payments would take the bulk of the lower salary,, but it was the same for me and my friends and family too.
  4. It is true, however, that young people, and older working people and pensioners too, will be burdened with servicing a high national debt, how it is serviced will be a political decision.
Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
7 months ago
Reply to  Pam Tonothy

Steady on Pam you are getting stressed…. I think he means the tripple lock? By the way state pensions may not exist in 15 years time at this rate!

Pete Rogers
Pete Rogers
7 months ago

The Job of the Tory Party for over a century has been to Govern the people on behalf of the country’s owners and they are usually in power because the Crown Machine and its Corporate allies, which combination works for the owners, sees to it.
We are told what to think at school not taught how to question and verify instruction before adopting it.
The result is that we are generally indoctrinated to the effect that the UK is a superior and heroic State and that to question this is cause for shame.
Those who question and are critical are therefore seen as disloyal and of dubious moral character. It is shameful not to admire the Crown, particularly militarily according to conventional belief.
This cocktail produces young Tories and they experience preferment.
We have to escape the realms of faith, in which we abide, into those of reason or remain in the state of psychological subjection that this ingrained arrangement creates.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
7 months ago
Reply to  Pete Rogers

Looks like the Tory plebs didn’t like that… ouch 🙂

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
7 months ago
Reply to  Pete Rogers

A bit abstract in places Pete, but I think I’m pretty much with you here – what’s so unpatriotic about wanting to rid your country of injustice and wanting everyone in it to feel they have a stake in its future?