Why is that, Cameron while pitching his party’s manifesto, reminded me of Arthur Daley. Roll up, roll up, right to buy for every punter, only cost you….you’re life savings!…and you’re kids future!
What’s wrong with right to buy? Well, next time the bill comes in from your mortgage company and you realise you’re paying half you’re take home pay meeting it, you can thank Maggie Thatcher and her right to buy policy. Draw a graph of inflation adjusted property prices and you’ll see they skyrocket after she introduced the right to buy policy. This is largely because the policy deprived councils of much needed property, creating a massive shortage of affordable homes.
The end result was a massive change in the supply and demand factors across the whole of the UK housing market, leading to a steep rise in property prices. And keep in mind that in times past, interest rates were much higher. Which both meant the casino landlord types were taking on a lot more risk by investing in property (discouraging them from doing so). But also meant that anyone with savings, and most people in those days had a few bob stashed away, got a decent rate of return.
Furthermore the right to buy created massive inequality, one of the steepest rises in it in the last century. It pulled the ladder up on those on lower incomes, forcing them to rent, which of course funnelled easy money to those with the money to buy houses. Which in of itself discouraged investment in things like small businesses. The result of right to buy has been to create a society of haves and have nots, where the have nots not only fall further and further behind each year, but their numbers grow.
In short, less of a property owning democracy and more of a property owning oligarchy. Particularly when you realise how much of the money behind property investment in Britain, in particular around London, is wealthy investors from abroad, up to 80% in some cases. So if you want a future where your kids can’t afford to buy until you die (and if you don’t own a house, then they never will either), and are stuck renting off some slum absentee landlord oil sheik, be my guest and vote Tory.