Today the Tories, in another pathetic attempt to win young votes, announced they will be introducing a Millennial’s Railcard. But if they want to win young votes they need to fix the housing crisis, as it remains the greatest problem for young people today.
The dramatic rise in house prices that has gone untempered since the dawn of Neo-Liberalism has had a dramatic impact on youth home ownership. Home ownership is at a 30 year low, and the percentage of 25-34yr olds on the property ladder has fallen to 37%, down from nearly 60% 10 years ago. The average house now costs 8x the average annual wage.
Claims from Tory ministers that our young should simply “buy less sandwiches” show how completely out of touch the government is with the problem. Millennials are the first generation in history to be called entitled for wanting housing and education. How dare they want these wild luxuries. But to spell out how bad it has become here’s a handy graphic, of the ridiculous rise in prices.
The phrase I often hear when discussing housing with people is “I have no idea how your generation will get on the property ladder”. Luckily the political parties have had some ideas, there manifesto commitments are listed below.
Labour have pledged to build 1 Million new homes, and half of these will be affordable homes, and impose rent controls in London. Driving down prices, allowing more people to own homes.The Tories say they’ll build more but won’t commit to a number of homes.
From this we can clearly see the difference between the two major parties. Labour want decisive state action to cure the problem and increase home ownership by building a decent number of affordable homes. The Conservatives will do nothing.
This is why the young have flocked to Corbyn’s banner, that unrealistic and luxurious promise of a home.
But will Corbyn’s plan work? Are more homes and more affordable homes truly the answer to this failing market? Yes is the simple answer to both questions.
The decisions by Thatcher’s government to stop building social homes started the problem. And no party since has decided to reverse that decision. The building of social housing is at an all time low under this Tory government, we have seen a 97% percent drop in the number of government funded social homes since the Tories came to power.The problem has a simple fix, build more affordable houses. The new budget proposals on housing will be like sticking a sticking plaster on a leaking nuclear reactor. Only Corbyn’s solutions on housing will really cure the problem.
The Problem the Tories and Liberal Democrats face is the top down state action needed to fix the housing crisis is not in their ideology. They are not Socialists, like Labour, and believe in free market solutions which have failed.
Worse than this the Tory party has been corrupted on housing policy. Firstly 128 Tory MPs are landlords. Secondly the Tory party is backed by a number of property firms, who pay them £3.3 Million in donations. Neither of these people want Corbyn flooding the market with cheap state housing bringing down their profits. Monied interests have yet again corrupted the Tory party into making decisions designed for the rich, not the people.
Even worse than this is political aims of the Tory party when designing housing policy. According to Nick Clegg the Tories refused to build more social housing due to the fact it might have long term impacts on elections. In a meeting with Osbourne and Cameron one of them stated ‘I don’t understand why you keep going on about the need for more social housing – it just creates Labour voters.’
The Tories will never fix the housing crisis, we need a Labour government for that.