Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Housing Strategy - Solving The Housing Problem


I don’t think that there is anyone on the UK who isn’t aware of the seriousness of the housing crisis we are currently experiencing.

There seems to me to be four main areas needing attention being:

1. Social housing
2. Shortage of new affordable homes to buy
3. Getting young people onto the housing ladder
4. Homelessness

I don’t think that there is any reason why we cant tackle all of these issues in one go and with zero cost to the tax payer.
This idea started life as quite a complex solution some 6 months ago but over time, through development has simplified substantially.  
It is now entirely possible to give young people the instant access they need to the housing market with the ability to purchase property in virtually any location they desire. This will inspire the existing house builders to design and build excellent quality, genuinely affordable homes, freeing up valuable land and which returns a substantial profit for the tax payer. A profit so great that it alone could start to address the repayment of the national debt.

The way to achieve this is by truly radical thought and completely change the very basic principals of our housing market functions.
I am a strong believer that tax payers money should be invested to create the finances needed to fund the tax payers needs. And this is where it begins. The tax payer becomes a provider of interest only mortgages, with capital repayment becomming a matter of choice. I had toyed with the idea of long term standard mortgages, but these are not protected from market fluctuation so are inherently unstable. The mortgages provided buy the tax payer are free from market interferrence and as such the interest rate can be secured for the lifetime of the mortgage.

By providing interest only mortgages it enables all people to get onto the housing ladder, this includes the unemployed as the interest they pay on the mortgage will be substantially lower than the rent they pay a private landlord for the same property. This will give the unemployed and employed substantially more disposable income or they could choose to have less disposable income and opt for a better quality home. 
As the tax payer is providing mortgages as opposed to social housing, people will have the freedom to purchase the home they can afford in the area they can afford which will end the existence of council and social housing estates. Virtually every home will be privately owned. People will not be forced to make repayments to their capital which means that a mortgage can last a lifetime. But if they find themselves with a change of circumstance they can make the minimum interest payment meaning that they will never face the prospect of losing gheir home. Christmas and holidays will never be a thing to fear for lack of affordability. And time off to educate oneself is a choice and no longer an obstacle.

Lets say for example a home with a purchase price of £250,000 over a 25 year period at 3% interest. The initial repayments would be in the region of £1458 pcm. However on interest only at 3% this cost reduces to £625 pcm. The property becomes eminently more affordable and as the owners career develops and their salary grows, so the capital repayment increase. In 40 years, £250000 may become a trivial amount, much like the mortgage payments appear of people who purchased their homes 25 years ago.
If no capital is paid off then after say 50 years it will have made the tax payer a return of £375,000 and the tax payer still owns the 100% of the property.

If we invested £500b in mortgage provision, then every 50 years at 3% the tax payer would still own the £500bn investment and will have made £750bn in interest payments and the tax payer still owns the initial investment of £500bn, which quite possibly will have appreciated in value.
Double this investment to 1tn and in 50 years the national debt is paid. Double it again and the debt is paid in 25 years. Taxpayers money is no longer needed to pay the debt.

With a mortgage based on £100,000 the interest at 3% is £250 pcm. At 2% it is £166 pcm. 

With the extra disposable income being spent, new opportunities will naturally present themselves encouraging a growing and prosperous economy. 



Tuesday, 4 July 2017

The Poorest Pay The Most - Poem

The Poorest Pay The Most

We started renting in ‘77
Cos the bank wouldn’t give us a loan,
My job, it didn’t pay very much,
But at least, we had our own home.

A lad of 20, that’s all I was,
With a little one, on the way,
It wasn’t a home we would ever own,
Just a place we’d pay, to stay.

The house was only worth twenty grand,
And the rent, it seemed pretty low,
But that money, it went to the landlord,
Not invested in my family, to grow.

As the years passed by, its value went up,
And my rent, well that went up too,
“Market rates” the landlord he said to me,
“Only right that your rent’s based on value”

Ten years later, it's now worth sixty grand,
My rent, well that too has tripled,
It raids my disposable income,
My finances are all but crippled.

If only they’d given me a mortgage,
My outgoings would’ve been less,
Had no choice but to pay my landlord,
In my own family, I couldn’t invest.

Well it’s 40 years later and I’m still paying rent,
On what’s now a two hundred grand home,
Imagine how small my mortgage would be,
Had the bank only given us a loan.

In 20 years hence, I’ll depart this world,
A lifetime with little to show,
And five hundred grand, in rent I’ve paid,
Seems a lot, for my twenty grand home.

“A scrounger” some people once said to me,
When I couldn’t pay my host,
But hundreds of thousands they took from me,
Tis' true, the poor pay the most.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

James O'Brien - Why wasn't immigration discussed during the election? - It Was

I've written this for James O’Brien.
Its a pretty utopian piece but it is an answer to a question he posed on why immigration wasn’t mentioned or debated during the general election.
Personally I think that there is a beautiful end to the immigration situation that is just waiting to burst through with a huge beaming smile on its face where ‘all’ of our well founded, sensible concerns surrounding immigration will evaporate. We’ll keep all of the professional staff supporting our essential services and there will also be a place for our low skilled immigrant workers. And the beauty of it, is that you don’t have to close a single border to achieve it.
The key to creating the perfect immigration policy is not to have an immigration policy but to create a policy that will have a direct affect on immigration.
Sorry, I’m gushing, Ill get to the point.
Ok, the policy to achieve this doesn’t have to be created because, it already exists. And its one of Corbyns. Its the minimum wage policy.
The main reason people want to come here is because there is an abundance of work, unfortunately it is low paid work and its seemingly unregulated. Many employers are all too happy to exploit migrant workers for the obvious profitability and efficiency reasons. As and when Corbyn achieves power he will bring in the £10 minimum wage, but the difference between his and the tory minimum wage is that Labour will enforce it. This will effectively end the ability for UK based companies to exploit migrant workers as cheap labour. Whilst this naturally reduces the need for migrant workers to the UK, the it also ensures that we maintain a free flow of the highly skilled professionals we need. Balance is restored. The low skilled workers that still come to the UK will not be encroaching on the domestic jobs market. They will enjoy decent pay, decent terms and conditions and with Corbyns house building and decent living standards policy, the UK will be a great place to come to, to live, work and play.
Looking towards the future, people are noticing what the left have achieved in the UK, including the Americans I’ve noticed. But its anyone’s guess how far this will go. Hopefully all the way.
So why didn’t they talk about this at the election? Well, it was, there were a few politicians who mentioned it but the public and media didn’t pick up on it. Dianne Abbott came close weeks ago and it wasn’t picked up, even Jeremy Corbyn mentioned it and again, no one picked up on it.
Maybe, for Corbyn to have hailed Labour as the 'Party of Immgrant Reduction' would have been too much for people to take in.
Maybe it's for other people to realise what the 'living wage policy' will mean in its entirety.
   

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Corbyn Has The Tories Beat On Immigration

Corbyn Has The Tories Beat On Immigration
This seems like a pretty bold statement considering that Jeremy Corbyn barely has an immigration policy to speak of.
But the truth of it, is that whilst not having a direct immigration policy pre se, he does have a policy that will affect the numbers of low paid and low skilled migrant workers, seeking work in the UK.
Those coming to the UK for work are broadly split into two groups, the highly skilled professionals such as doctors and nurses. There is no argument that we need these people and because of their high levels of pay, they contribute significantly to the economy. And then the low skilled, low paid workers who don’t contribute much, if anything to British society.
An immigration policy that is purely based on the numbers of immigrants to the UK would have a negative effect on both groups. So whilst we would reduce the numbers of low skilled immigrants, we would also reduce the numbers of highly skilled professional immigrants that our services depend on. Therefore a broad immigration policy, just won’t do the job. Were stuck, between a rock and a hard place.
What we do need, is a policy that can split the highly skilled professionals from the low skilled workers. And Jeremy Corbyn has achieved just that.
The problem is that we associate Jeremy Corbyn with New Labour who were basically neo-liberals. The tories introduced neo-liberalism with Thatcher, and Tony Blair, to the detriment of us all, carried it on. Neo-liberal economics in part, frees markets with de-regulation. The banks took full advantage of it and persuaded people, to take out mortgages that they couldn't afford and the whole system went tits up when Brown was holding the reins.
Corbyn doesn't believe in neo-liberal economics, he believes in socialism. So instead of taking from the people of this country, he will invest in them. He will invest in our education and invest in infrastructure to create the jobs, so that ordinary people like us, will become richer.
The rise in immigration coincides exactly with the rise in neo-liberalism. Rocketing during the Thatcher and Blair eras and continuing through Cameron and May who have all followed neo-liberal economics. The last socialist government we had, provided decent standards of living, decent wages and decent homes and incidentally had the lowest historical levels of immigration.
Neo-liberal governments under Thatcher and Blair destroyed many well paid industries, coal mining comes to mind. The attacks on our unions has caused the lowering of salaries and degradation of our terms and conditions. Pay so low that it meant that for many of our own people, working became uneconomical. But at the time, we had a decent social welfare system, that we all paid into, to fall back on. But, this left a shortage of people willing to take on low paid work. So this is what opened he floodgates to low paid, low skilled migrant workers and their numbers rocketed. All this under the Thatcher and Blair eras.
In the last socialist labour government who provided decent wages and decent homes in 1975-1979, immigration was at its lowest.
So historically, immigration under a socialist government is low, under a neoliberal government immigration rises high, because it relies on cheap labour.
So how will Labour tackle immigration, well the policy is already in the Labour manifesto. Its the £10 minimum wage. When labour introduce it and enforce it, it will remove the ability for companies to be able to exploit cheap migrant labour from abroad. In fact it will make employing migrant workers more expensive than employing our own native workforce and as a result, the numbers of immigrants seeking work in the UK, will tumble to levels not seen since 1975.


Theresa May’s solution, as far as I can see is to increase the levy on employers who currently recruit from abroad, this currently stands at £1000 but will increase to £2000. This will in the main affect the professional group that we first spoke of and will reduce the number of professional doctors and nurses that we rely on. She will also end free movement which would end access to the European markets and damage local business. So we will effectively close the door on non professional EU migrants and make it much harder for EU professionals to come and support our essential services. In addition to this, she is not enforcing her lower minimum wage for rogue employers which will enable her to keep our wages low.
But what does this matter if all of the immigrants are gone? I hear you say. Well this is important because of what’s coming with Mays Brexit.
May’s team have visited several countries in recent months seeking free trade agreements. But as a condition of these agreements, these countries are insisting on their own peoples ‘freedom of movement’ with the UK. This means that any free trade agreements she gets in the future, will allow immigrants from those countries access to the UK jobs markets.
Theresa May won’t end immigration, she’ll just replace EU migrants with migrants from elsewhere.
So May will close the UK border to EU citizens as promised, but will open them to low paid, low skilled migrants from across the world.
It is little wonder that she is refusing to debate Jeremy Corbyn.
So with a socialist Jeremy Corbyn government, we would see EU immigration numbers tumble, we would keep tariff free access to the single market and we wouldn’t have to open our borders to the rest of the world.
If the numbers of immigrants to the UK concerns you, then Labour is the only party who will reduce it.


       

Friday, 12 May 2017

Only Labour Will Effectively Tackle UK Immigration

In my opinion....
The number one issue with people have with brexit is to secure the greatest reduction of immigrants entering the UK.
There is a feeling that the person best placed to deliver this is Theresa May. Jeremy Corbyn does not have a policy per se in name, but I don't think this means he doesn't have one.
In fact I think that the person most likely to deliver the greatest reduction in migrants is Jeremy Corbyn.
The first thing we have to realise is that migrants come here to work, some in our essential services which we all agree we need and those that come here that are exploited.
These migrants find it easy to find work in 'off the grid' jobs and are happy to accept pay that is far below the British minimum wage. These jobs are supplied in their 100's of thousands by British businesses and undercut the salaries of our native workers.
They haven't taken our jobs, these employers didn't create these jobs with local people in mind.
So the problem isn't directly an immigration problem but a problem with british employers.
So the solution to the immigration problem we have isn't to close the door on immigrants but to shut down the opportunity for unscrupulous employers to exploit their labour.
Jeremy Corbyn had already got this policy embedded into the Labour manifesto.
The £10 minimum wage.
By removing the ability for employers to exploit migrant workers, you also remove their motivation to view the UK as an opportunity for work. Employers will all have to pay enforced minimum salaries, which will force employers away from using cheap, migrant labour and the focus will naturally result in British jobs for British people.
The reduced opportunity for migrant workers can only bring about a massive reduction in the numbers of overseas low skilled workers seeking employment in the UK. This would also apply to refugees who would be welcome here as a place of safety but find that the opportunity to settle is much harder.
So it matters little if we retain 'free movement' because we will have removed the opportunity for migrants to find employment unless they are the high skilled professionals we need.
By not closing our borders we also have a far greater chance of accessing the single market tariff free and get the best Brexit deal with the EU.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Will We Become A 'Nation Of Shopkeepers?'


One thing that people are great at is surviving. As working terms and conditions are rapidly being eroded by this Tory government, the negative effect isn’t going to be limited to public sector services. Will people change the economy by changing their own futures?

There is already movement of workers to every part of the private sector. So what does this mean for the private sector?
We are already witnessing record numbers of people leaving the public sector to work in the private sector. And as attacks on pay and conditions continue to worsen within the public sector, this trend is only going to continue.

This is inevitably going to have a negative effect on the existing private sector, as competition for available jobs is increased. Increased competition also means cheaper prices, only this time, it’s cheap Labour.
So with diminishing opportunity and people struggling to survive employed within the private and public sectors employee, they will seek out decent standards of living by entering self employment. This is the sector that will see the largest growth in new start-ups, a positive move for people entering the sector, but at the same time, creating greatly increased competition for existing business with diminishing numbers of available staff to run them. New start-ups will enter the sector naturally adapted to the new conditions, but many existing business will be forced to adapt their business model by downsizing in order to survive.

Our essential fire brigade, police and hospital services will still be needed. I don’t think that it is inconceivable that these service professionals could become entirely freelance naming their own price for a days work, the negotiations of which won’t be controlled by staffing agencies but more than likely, the unions, who may become stronger than at any time in history.
I’ve always believed that the public sector is the barometer for the working terms and conditions for the rest of the nation. Destroying the public sector will have the consequence of diluting the private sector. Large business will fail as micro businesses flourish, essentially returning the country back to being a nation of shopkeepers.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Jeremy Corbyn Just Isolated The Tories

Has Jeremy Corbyn just pulled off some magnificent political skulduggery?

The last two weeks have been quite remarkable, in that it appears as though Jeremy Corbyn has just isolated the Tories into their right wing, neoliberal pen.
Whilst the Tories and the rest of the political right have been on their holidays or dreaming up their next batch of unfounded slurs or both, to use against Jeremy Corbyn and the labour shadow cabinet, in a game of ‘personality politics’, they were too preoccupied, that they failed to realise that Mr Corbyn and the team, were playing an entirely different game. The game of policy politics.

In one week they have announced the policies to attract the young, the old, workers, remainers, brexiteers and even business. He has covered the entire political spectrum from the very poorest right up to neoliberalism’s front door, effectively sweeping aside the rest of the centre ground by creating policies attractive to them and pinning the tories into a right wing, anti europe, anti single market, anti immigrant, pro tax evasion, anti disabled, poverty creating, child starving corner, that they can’t escape from.

It is time for Parliamentary Labour Party to unite behind Jeremy Corbyn, if only because they have nowhere left to go.

Appropriate that this should happen at Easter, don’t you think?