I came across the campaign group Positive Money’s website this morning whilst reading letters readers of The Observer had written in response to its coverage last week of the rise in private rented housing in Britain, aka Generation Rent.
The website puts across a stark argument about the role banks have played in fueling runaway house price inflation by pumping billions of pounds into the property sector during the decade before the economic crash.
The result, it says, is that property values doubled in this time and we are not poorer, not richer, as an ever-increasing share of our incomes is spent on keeping roofs over our heads.
Check out the website, which sets out what the public can do to support the campaign. The two-minute video below sets out the argument about the role banks have played in creating this issue.
I remember the feeling as a reporter when I wrote about workers who were taking action over what they perceived to be bad wages, and would realise they were paid more than me.
I’m reminded of this today when I hear of measures aimed at helping young families onto the housing ladder and the need to address the country’s housing crisis. I am not debt ridden, or badly paid. But when Grant Shapps talks of young families who are caught in a pincer movement between the paucity of available credit, high housing prices and the substantial deposits needed to get decent mortgages, it feels like he could be talking about me.
Continue reading “Is ‘self build’ the answer to our housing headache?”
‘The Big Society debate must move on’ – Matthew Taylor’s blog
RSA chief executive Matthew Taylor gives his reaction to The Times’ coverage of the perceived threat to the Government’s Big Society vision today. His opinion appears to be that the project is too all-embracing to take root: “The ideas of the Big Society can’t change the world overnight, and anyone with any sense recognises the challenges of taking the idea forward in a time of public sector austerity. But as long as the Big Society continues to be everything, it is in danger of becoming nothing.”
Comments underneath the post, from Julian Dobson among others, are worthy too.
Cities outlook 2011 – Centre for Cities
Centre for Cities annual index, Cities Outlook 2011, made the headlines today with its report highlighting the areas it believed will fare well (and badly) in the face of recession. It may not come as a surprise to know the cities who have scored well in the index (including Milton Keynes, Reading, Aberdeen, Leeds and Bristol) compared to those who hadn’t. But there are interesting snippets for opinion leaders and policy makers as to what makes a ‘reslient’ local economy. And if you’re into ‘league table’ stories, it’s got everything you need.
Imbalances explained – The Economist
In future, all macroeconomic issues will be explained through hip-hop.
Editor ‘forced to watch Sheridan confession in his underwear’ – The Independent
Perjury trial of former Scottish Socialist Party leader Tommy Sheridan takes another bizarre twist.
‘Taking things too far’ – We Love Local Government
‘What is writing equipment exactly?’ (it’s pens, by the way).