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Thursday, 13 February 2020

Do we need another book on the housing market?
A BIG-NAME AUTHOR of Irish origin who writes for the Telegraph.
Liam Halligan really ‘gets it’!
HOME TRUTHS:
The UK’s chronic housing shortage— how it happened, why it matters and how to solve it
(19 Nov 2019) London: Biteback Pub   £20 or less hb

As a journalist Liam writes well in an easy readable style. He position has enabled him to grill important insiders — government ministers, captains of industry, bankers, civil servants, and many more. For his recent Channel 4 documentary ‘Britain’s Newbuild Scandal’ (July 2019) programme he’s even got out on-(building)-site and talked to both builders and home-buyers. His academic credentials are excellent as well (Warwick, Oxford, IMF, LSE).

So this is a great book on the crisis of the housing market. It goes beyond the usual ‘poin-and-sigh’ — listing all the deep problems and their dire effect on homebuyers. 

He digs deeper to explain the underlying reasons WHY the housing market is in such a dreadful state. 

And best of all, is the raft of policy suggestions aimed at fixing the market, fixing the policy mistakes of the past, and really getting a grip on our dysfunctional housing supply.

Monday, 13 January 2020

Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission

—-] sounds a bit like what I am doing here. And who can quibble with homes that are better, homes that are beautiful? Here’s what they say about themselves:

The commission is an independent body that will advise government on how to promote and increase the use of high-quality design for new build homes and It will be responsible for developing practical measures that will help ensure new housing developments meet the needs and expectations of communities, making them more likely to be welcomed, rather than resisted, by existing communities.

Monday, 23 September 2019

WHEN FULL LVT HAS BEEN ACHIEVED, WILL WE STILL NEED SOCIAL HOUSING? 

We don’t have ‘social food’ or ‘social clothing’ thanks goodness! Yet once there were Mao’s hordes of blue-denim clad Chinese. Not any more. We wear the clothes we fancy (very cheap because of the self-same hordes) and have such food choices that obesity is our main problem. I’d like to make the case that Social Housing should go the way of the blue denim uniform. In the post-LVT era, houses will be so cheap, so plentiful and yes, so good that state-organised house-building and renting will seem no more than an ancient curiosity.   


No more social housing? Everyone choosing and buying or renting their own preferred housing. That’s such an odd idea for us to take in now. So it’s not surprising that current wisdom can only conceive of a world where Big Brother in one form or another organises housing for the ‘less-well-off’. Consider these recent papers from wise and sensible commentators:

Friday, 23 August 2019

AS THE 1ST BEST STEP TOWARDS LVT — TRANSFORM COUNCIL TAX INTO 

A TAX ON THE VALUE OF THE PROPERTY (PVT)?


A number of very sincere, well-read, properly thought out Reformers believe that switching Council Tax to LVT, or to its almost-nearly-there version Property Value Tax (PVT) is the best, and maybe the only way out of the Housing Crisis. I list these CT-to-LVT advocates at the end of this article.

Why the switch is attractive to many LVT advocates:  CT is levied on every residential property in all parts of the UK. Despite changes from Rates through Poll Tax and then back to the banded Council Tax, it seems to be accepted as fairish (ref survey). It is also a fairly large revenue source for governments. And since a large chunk of a house price is land value it is close to being LVT already (or is it? This seems like a topic that needs further investigation).

But there are problems with this rosy scenario.

Friday, 12 July 2019

AFTER 100 YEARS, STILL NO IMPLEMENTATION OF L V T.

WAS IT ALL THE FAULT OF HENRY GEORGE?

Henry George was not an academic, or a qualified economist. He was a hugely successful campaigner. But was he toosuccessful?
That is what Michael Hudson, one of my great heroes railing against the false theories of mainstream economics (you know, the ones who ‘didn’t see it — the Great Financial Crash of 2008 — coming). And yet he blames Henry George for being too narrowly focussed, too unwilling to collaborate with other reformers, for the failure to implement LVT.
Read Hudson’s paper — it is a very easy read — and make your own mind up. Was Henry George and the well-funded Georgists who followed him the reason why LVT is always rejected and his followers treated as fanatics?

Henry George's Political Critics Michael HudsonFirst published: 26 February 2008
To access the paper FOR FREE click on:


American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 

LAND FOR THE MANY (not the few)

THE LATEST BRAVE ATTEMPT BY THE LABOUR PARTY

TO CURB THE PARASITE (rentier) ECONOMY


https://labour.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/12081_19-Land-for-the-Many.pdf
  

Only ref to LVT is to replace business rates (UBR). Otherwise avoids the topic altogether. Is this an example of shrewd political calculation? Dodge the smearing headlines in the Daily Mail (inspired by Conservative Central Office of course!) that “Corbyn is going to inflict the dreaded ‘Garden Tax’”. So stupid are the Mail hacks, that they think the tax will be levied on a per square foot basis depending on garden size! 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7145233/Essex-resort-boasts-biggest-gardens-Britain.html

Poor George! 

He discovers that some of his fellow journalists of our free press say nasty false things!

There’s been a recent Report prepared for the Labour Party called Land for the Many, not the Few.  It is very good, makes a serious and sensible attempt, in part, to see how government could take back the value in land under houses and ensure that homes for the many become cheap enough for the many to buy (or rent). 

I’ll look at some of the ideas in this report in future postings, but here I’m looking at the horrible, but totally predictable way the right-wing press reacted to it. Amusingly, or maybe , sadly George Monbiot, one of the authors of the Report just did not see the ferocity and mendacity of the attacks his Report was about to be subject to.
Read on…