Comment Writer Tom Young argues that Jeremy Corbyn’s housing plans are unrealistic and insubstantial, as well as being destructive for students
Housing: a topic that many find problematic until optimism and the overstretching of policies leaves individuals feeling there is clear-cut solution. There is not.
Jeremy Corbyn’s housing plans to build one million new homes, half of which would be council houses, is unrealistic, outrageous and costly. Within the 13 years of a Labour government, more than half of working households of people aged 16-34 were buying their own home. Today this is 25% and according to the resolution foundation, it will decline to 10% in the next 9 years. One can find it humorous and ironic how Jeremy Corbyn proposed this as a problem that originated from the Conservative Party; he could not face that failed housing promises lay on his party’s ever-weakening shoulders.
A Conservative government is one that consistently delivers on security whilst being relative to the economic climate, a Conservative government understands the phrase ‘to live within our means’ while the disruptive past Labour era has failed to deliver on optimistic promises.
Divided and rootless principles of the Labour Party, let alone the tasks at hand within housing, show no sign of consistently meeting targets – and unfortunately this does not come as a shock. A Conservative government upholds its promises of delivering for ordinary working families with an increased amount of council housing being built in comparison to the last Labour government. It is important to reiterate that this was not a target that was set with unattainable standards like Labour’s housing plans today, but thought through with conviction and pragmatism.
Also, housing prices vary across the United Kingdom, Liverpool’s average price is £116,000 to London’s £676,000. This shows how Corbyn’s pursuit for an average price for all starter homes across the United Kingdom is unfair and disproportionate, there is a clear and logical reason as to why the starter homes upper limit within London is higher at £450,000.
One should also question the benefit of taxing the rich for housing purposes, wealth and opportunity are not created this way and in turn increased student housing cannot be produced effectively. Raising taxes diminishes individual’s ambition to work, once that drive is lost there is a decline in the amount of money going to public spending. Margaret Thatcher understood this concept with conviction as she stated: ‘It is no good thinking someone else will pay, that someone else is you. There is no such thing as public money, only tax payer’s money.’
This tax payer’s money is the relative increase in money every individual will lose in order to pay for a million new homes. That money, as students, is more vital than ever before.
It is clear today that there is a need for new housing and policies, however policies that are achievable are far more credible. When the state compresses the incentives of the big runners, one stops any extra wealth being redistributed. Increasing taxes to pay for Jeremy Corbyn’s housing plan will lead to fewer local businesses being able to stay open and therefore higher rates of unemployment, so next time one looks at the figure of one million new houses being built please recognise the indirect consequences that will face people’s individual liberty to work and generate wealth; specifically us as students who are already facing hardship.
It may be presumed that increased money into the public sector to pay for Labour’s unquestionable ‘broken promises’ will help the unemployed and students who need housing, however this is not the case.
As students we should understand that the idealist scenario is not always the target to reach for at first, it is the countless tweaks and adjustments that can forge a brighter path ahead for housing.