Two very illuminating headlines, side by side, on the Mail web site.
In 1970 the Idiot Ted Heath and his Chancellor Tony Barber introduced a 70% government grant payable to owners of old (and not so old) houses to allow them to modernise their kitchens and bathrooms.
The inevitable result of this policy was a sharp increase in the cost of building materials followed by a rapid rise in the cost of said modernisation works.
This created a subsequent explosion in house price inflation – the early seventies was when the word gazumping entered our language.
Not long afterwards another university graduate, educated way beyond her intelligence, decided to sell off the Council houses, at substantial discounts, to the sitting tenants at the same time as ending any further Council house building.
This scheme was not extended to tenants of privately rented accommodation. I wonder why?
In time most of these ex-Council houses were sold for a very tidy profit to the growing numbers of ‘buy to let’ landlords who then took advantage of Maggie’s newly introduced Government wheeze known as Housing Benefit whereby people who could not afford to get on the ‘housing ladder’ had their rents paid for them directly to the aforementioned ‘buy to let’ landlords. (There were no more Council houses, remember)
Guess what that did to rents? And to property values?
(Among those forced permanently into the rental market were the people who were already renting but left at a disadvantage because they were not renting from the Council. See above.)
And still the Government comes up with even more daft ideas to give money to house owners and landlords to ‘get the economy moving.’
It is clear to me that politicians become politicians because they are too stupid to get a proper job; susidising non productive home ownership at the same time as taxing wealth production (work, in other words) is one of the main reasons this country is in a state of discumbuggeration!