This attempted reinvigoration of the 1980’s right-to-buy scheme is another ad hoc response to short term pressure. Tempting people to take on a huge debt and enter the bottom of the housing market pyramid is a cynical way to attempt to ‘re-boot’ the housing market. Implicit in this action is the view that an inflated housing bubble is actually an optimum national economic condition. Crass short-termism.
Negative Emotional Propaganda
The aim is to get a further two million council homes sold off and in Cameron’s words have council tenants “achieve their aspiration of owning their own homes”. This should not be an aspiration and peddling this negative emotional propaganda - at a time when house prices are going to decrease over the foreseeable future – is irresponsible. The Prime Minister “wants many more people to achieve the dream of home ownership” but has not realised that dream will actually be a nightmare for many. He is out of touch with the economics and therefore with the concerns of ordinary people.
In an effort to get consumer spending moving again Mr Cameron will use urge people to “do up their home, change their front door, improve their garden”. But this ‘community building’ effort puts the economic focus on the wrong issue. What people really want are decent wages and long term employment stability so they don’t have to rely on land / house speculation to top up inflation ravaged savings. Mr Cameron has been strangely evasive on this fundamental economic issue.
This eighties throwback fatally assumes the same economic playing field as Margaret Thatcher presided over which is another glib assumption that will lure many less savvy tenants into a debt trap. To give this wheeze a 21st Century lick, housing minister Grant Shapps enters the fray to launch a new mobile app and Facebook page to encourage more people to take up the right-to-buy. When have you ever needed a smart phone to buy the single biggest asset you will likely ever own?
Mr Shapps stated “This Government is unashamedly on the side of hardworking families who want to aspire to owning their own council homes”. I beg to differ – this Government is unashamedly propping up the housing market and discriminating against current homeowners. They are using every trick in the book - regardless of the human and societal cost.