Hammond tries to copy one of Corbyn’s most popular policies, but totally misses the point

Support us and go ad-free

Chancellor Philip Hammond has picked up on one of Jeremy Corbyn’s most popular policies in his Autumn Statement. Unfortunately, he has totally missed the point.

The UK is facing a housing crisis. Spiralling house prices, rents, and the selling off of social housing are all contributing to an increase in homelessness. According to figures released in September 2016, 19,000 households were evicted and forced onto the streets by private landlords in a year. That represents a rise of 200% over five years.

Hammond’s plans

Hammond has, at least, realised that there is a housing crisis. But there is a serious problem with one of his solutions – affordable homes. While Hammond pledged to build 40,000 affordable homes, he failed to define what ‘affordable’ means. Just as George Osborne did in 2015.

And this is where there is an issue. Earlier this year, the government was criticised for redefining the definition of affordable housing. An affordable house can cost up to £450,000 – seven times the average UK salary. Furthermore, affordable rent can cost up to 80% of the market rate.

Corbyn’s plans

Meanwhile, Corbyn’s housing plan is very different. He plans to invest in “social housing” – with plans to build over a million houses – half of which would be council homes. But Hammond is still determined to sell off the housing stock, announcing a continuation of extending the right to buy to housing association tenants.

And even as Hammond is announcing curbs on letting agents’ charges, he is again missing the point. While this is welcome (and something Corbyn has recommended), it is spiralling rents which are causing the real problems. Again, this is something Corbyn plans to tackle. He is advocating a “Tenants’ Rights Charter” to stop unreasonable rent rises, and to “bring decent standards to the private rented sector”.

Hammond is right to notice that one of Corbyn’s most popular policies is on housing. But it doesn’t take much reading between the lines to see that his policies will do very little to relieve the housing crisis, especially for those struggling at the bottom of the pile.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Get Involved!

Write to your MP to ask them to do more about the housing crisis.

– Follow all of The Canary’s coverage on the Autumn Statement.

Featured image via Flickr and Wikimedia

Support us and go ad-free

Do your bit for independent journalism

Did you know that less than 1.5% of our readers contribute financially to The Canary? Imagine what we could do if just a few more people joined our movement to achieve a shared vision of a free and fair society where we nurture people and planet.

We need you to help out, if you can.

When you give a monthly amount to fund our work, you are supporting truly independent journalism. We hold power to account and have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence the counterpoint to the mainstream.

You can count on us for rigorous journalism and fearless opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right wing mainstream media.

In return you get:

  • Advert free reading experience
  • Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
  • 20% discount from our shop

 

The Canary Fund us

Comments are closed