Category Archives: Housing

​Tory minister quit as he ‘couldn’t afford mortgage hike’. How does he think WE feel?

George Freeman MP: has it not occurred to him that, if he can’t make ends meet because of high mortgage interest rates, people on lower pay might be in an even worse situation?

Can anything demonstrate how out-of-touch the Tories in government are, as well as this?

A senior Tory MP has admitted resigning from Government because he couldn’t afford a hike in his mortgage payments on his £118,000 salary.

George Freeman quit as Science Minister in November saying “the time has come for me to focus on my health, family wellbeing and life beyond the frontbench”. But writing on his blog just days ago he complained that his monthly mortgage repayments had more than doubled.

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Millions of people have been hit with higher mortgage costs after the economic carnage caused by Liz Truss’s mini-Budget sent interest rates soaring. Around 1.6 million homeowners are due to come off fixed-rate deals this year and face considerable hikes in their monthly repayments.

From what form of insanity are Tories like Freeman suffering?

They know their policies – intentionally or not – pushed interest rates through the roof, and that included interest on mortgages.

So they knew that people were going to be paying more – including, if they had mortgages, them.

If they can’t shoulder the extra burden on a ministerial salary of more than £100,000, how do they expect people on average pay of around £30,000 to cope?

Now that Freeman has felt the pinch, though, one might hope that he would have used his position to lobby for more to be done to help mortgage-holders cope.

Alas, no. Freeman has simply cleared off to the back benches – and possibly to a second, third, fourth (or whatever) job, which he maytake because he can. The rest of us don’t have the same options.

We have to conclude that MPs like Freeman just don’t care – and we need to remember that when the next election comes around.

Source: ​Tory MP quit as minister as he ‘couldn’t afford mortgage hike on £118,000 salary’ – Mirror Online


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How money goes from the poor to the rich – Gary’s Economics

Rent, profit and interest are all the same, according to economist Gary Stevenson.

Not literally – they work in different ways – but they are all payments from poor people to rich people.

Here’s Gary to explain:

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So you have to pay money to the owners of the resources, in all three situations – you have to work for that money, in order to let these people have it for no effort. They can then use the money to buy more assets.

We know that those of us who pay mortgages are only able to do it later in life, because it takes longer to accumulate the money to even think about a down-payment. This means that, by the time we’re 40, whereas our grandparents may have been nearly finished paying off their mortgage, and our parents around halfway through, we might have just started paying – and the amount we’re paying is more, plus interest.

This feeds in to Gary’s claim that each generation is getting progressively poorer than the last.

You can read more about that here.


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If rich people can profit from huge crises, why can’t the rest of us?

House prices: they’re high, despite interest rates also being high, because rich people have been given huge amounts of money by the UK’s Tory government. They’re using it to buy assets.

Gary Stevenson’s latest video discusses the reasons for house prices staying high even though interest rates have been high also. TL:DR – It’s because rich people have lots of cash to splash around.

The question raised in This Writer’s mind is: if rich people can take advantage of the crises we’ve suffered over the last few years to get richer, how can the rest of us manipulate events to make ourselves richer too?

There has to be a way, don’t you think?

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Here’s the video:


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Politicians are hell-bent on pushing us to fascism. Let Gary explain how to stop it.

After a six month hiatus, Gary Stevenson is back with a video clip discussing what has happened in the UK during that period. And it isn’t good.

Inflation is down. He explains why the Tories should take no credit for it.

Interest rates will start to fall, following inflation.

House prices, after rising during the Covid crisis, have not come down again – and Gary explains that this is because the rich have accumulated an enormous amount of money over the period since early 2020. They have used it to buy houses without mortgages, which is why prices have not fallen. And with high interest rates, their savings accounts are growing massively.

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As interest rates fall, rich people will invest their savings in buying houses, and this means prices will rise again.

Living standards have fallen with the rapid rise of inequality that came with the transfer of huge amounts of cash to the rich. Rents, the price of goods and the price of holidays will also increase. Young people will be very strongly harmed by these developments.

With living standards falling, and no political party in the UK serious about reducing inequality, people will be dissatisfied – whichever party is in office. People will want an alternative, and the populist far right is poised to promise them anything they want. This is why it is so terrifying that the Tory with the safest seat is Kemi Badenoch.

This risk is increased by the fact that the economy is failing – no matter what Rishi Sunak and his spokespeople say.

An accelerated shift towards fascism is inevitable unless a positive alternative can be presented.

Increasing equality will improve living standards and stave off the fall into fascism.

The challenge for us now is to encourage public opinion to support such measures.


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Squatting is on the rise again in Britain – because the government wants it?

It’s bad for business, you know.

If rents or house prices are too high, they go empty, meaning their owners make no money from them.

Left empty, they become prey to squatters – people who can’t afford to rent or buy houses – who move in by whatever means they can.

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They’re not always the best of occupiers – often causing damage. And who pays to correct that?

On the other hand, squatting is illegal and anyone convicted of it may be imprisoned for six months – which of course puts a roof over their head.

So it’s a lose-lose situation. Homeowners and landlords lose because their properties are not making money and because they have to foot the bill for any repairs; and squatters may be imprisoned.

There is a solution, if we could only work out what it might be. Let’s look at some facts, courtesy of The Guardian:

There are now 1.5m vacant properties lying idle across England and Wales. At the same time at least 271,000 people are recorded as homeless in England alone, from those sleeping on streets or sofa-surfing to others living in unsuitable and even dangerous temporary accommodation.

So there are more than five times as many empty properties as there are people looking for homes. Why is there a push to build more?

The article suggests

A 2022 opinion poll found 65% of respondents supported councils being given the powers to acquire long-term empty properties at below-market value for use as social housing. Such a policy has been implemented in Barcelona.

The real obstacle to freeing up empty properties in the UK seems to be government inaction.

Why is the government doing nothing? Why is it deliberately creating conditions that will criminalise many thousands of people? Why does it want to imprison people who simply want a place to live?

Is there money for politicians if they support house-building rather than the acquisition of existing homes to be turned into cheaper dwellings? Is that it?

A little cash is better than no cash. Home owners and landlords would be better-off taking council money. Councils would benefit from renting out renovated homes.

But the government is deliberately sitting on its hands. Why?

Source: Squatting is on the rise again in Britain – and in this vicious housing crisis, is anyone surprised? | Jason Rodrigues | The Guardian


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Did you know councils will have to pay for asylum seekers after the Tory government ends hotel contracts?

These will be happy: the racists of Britain First must be celebrating Suella Braverman’s decision to accede to their demands and stop housing asylum-seekers at hotels. But with the number of people coming here dropping by only 20 per cent, is it a premature celebration? Will these hotels keep the migrants, but with councils forced to pay the bill?

Read this:

The UK government intends to terminate contracts with 50 hotels currently housing asylum seekers by the end of January, a move that threatens to offload the £8m daily cost onto already strained local councils. This decision emerges as part of the government’s broader efforts to tackle illegal migration and reduce the cost associated with processing and housing asylum seekers.

Critics argue it will merely shift the burden onto local councils, already grappling with financial strain and housing shortages. The Local Government Association (LGA), the national voice of local government in the UK, has warned that councils may have to house these asylum seekers in the very hotels the government is vacating. They call for additional funding and consultation in these decisions, underscoring the need for local authorities to be adequately equipped to accommodate these individuals.

The impression This Writer had, from watching our rubbish mainstream media news reports, was that the number of people getting across the Channel in boats had fallen by an amount significant enough that these hotels weren’t needed any more.

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Here’s a government tweet on the subject:

See what I mean?

There’s nothing about asylum-seekers being housed in the same hotels, but with local authorities forced to pay for it with the money they should be spending on public services.

It seems Suella Braverman is forcing your council to take the blame for her failure to handle the refugee issue.

Source: UK Government to End Hotel Contracts for Asylum Seekers, Leaving Local Councils to Shoulder the Burden


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Starmerite right-winger’s pretty housing theory is trumped by facts

House-building: Keir Starmer’s party wants you to think the ‘trickle-down’ effect means lots of social housing in every large estate but the fact is that they provide the bare minimum in order to maximise their profits. This is a lie.

I didn’t realise I’ve been helping hand this Starmerite head-banger’s posterior to him; all I did was make a passing comment.

But Luke Akehurst (for it was him – the right-wing scourge of socialists in the Substitute Tory Party) had to respond, and brought a torrent of facts down on himself, drowning out his feeble theory about house-building.

Here’s how it started:

Luke tried to come back – only to be clobbered by an expert who works in this field:

The idea of house prices dropping as more are built horrified some home owners (and there is a debate to be had about whether dwelling-places, that everybody should have as a necessity, should also be investment opportunities. But that’s for another time).

Luke stuck to his guns – only to be shot down again:

And again:

We know this is true; developers blackmail councils into removing any restriction on their profits, under threat of not seeing estates built at all. That’s the reason the Tories wanted to lift anti-pollution rules for estates near environmentally-fragile rivers; developers with planning permission were refusing to build while they had to pay the costs of mitigating measures.

Not knowing when to give up, Luke kept going – and it kept getting worse for him:

Land banking is where property developers buy land with a view to developing it in the future – or withholding it from development until they get what they want.

What we’re seeing here is evidence of the “trickle-down” effect in action (or, more accurately, inaction): the claim that, once wealthy businesspeople have enough money, they’ll allow it to pass down to people with less (in this case in the form of social housing) is disproved by the fact that they use their negotiating power to force councils to accept the bare minimum, thereby maximising the amount that they, personally, take home.

But Keir Starmer’s party is supposed to think “trickle-down” is nonsense, isn’t it?

Apparently not. What actually happens trumps airy-fairy theory and Luke’s support for what is happening indicates support for “trickle-down” economics that helps the rich over the poor.

It’s a revealing glimpse of the real thinking behind Starmer party rhetoric.

I tried to get Luke to see sense…

But it’s a forlorn hope. He’ll keep repeating his mantras because he wants us to believe them.

And that leads me to the big take-out from this story.

I don’t think this is about Labour politicians refusing to face the facts; I think it’s about them buying into the Tory/Nazi “Big Lie” concept.

This is the practice of repeating a claim that is known to be untrue, on the basis that if you repeat it often enough, people will believe it.

Think about that. Above, Luke has been told that his party’s ideas don’t work – time and again. But, time and again, he repeats the claims that have already been disproved.

My conclusion: He wants you to believe a lie.

Keir Starmer’s party is lying to you. And not just about this.


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‘Judge us by our record’, says Tory MP. We did – and the verdict is not good!

Laura Trott: does she spend a lot of time with her foot in her mouth?

Conservative Pensions Minister Laura Trott made a bit of a blunder on the morning media round: she asked the public to judge the Conservative Party on its “track record” since 2010.

Here she is, saying it:

Peter Stefanovic took her at her word, and did just that. Here’s the result:

Social mobility is at its worst in more than 50 years.

Untreated sewage dumped in our rivers.

Crumbling schools and hospitals.

Thousands dying every year on NHS waiting lists.

Let’s add a little more to the list, from an article published earlier today (September 18, 2023):

14 million people in the UK are in poverty – that is a little more than one-fifth of the population.

A million adults can’t afford to eat every day.

Nine million, while eating every day, are skipping meals and cutting back on food. There is a consequent effect on the nation’s health that will impact the NHS, of course – with thousands of people being hospitalised with malnutrition. Then the Tories say they don’t understand why the health service can’t cope after they have put so much (ha ha!) extra funding into it.

A record 2.1 million people are now using food banks. Remember David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ policy? This is its only success – forcing more wealthy people to subsidise those who cannot afford to feed themselves, including lower-paid working people and nurses, let’s not forget, with charity.

The number of children in food poverty has doubled in the last year alone.

Seven million households aren’t being heated properly.

Rishi Sunak has also mentioned inequality, claiming – again, falsely – that this is also lower. In fact:

In 2022, incomes for the poorest 14 million people fell by 7.5 per cent while those for the richest fifth saw a 7.8 per cent increase.

Could that be partly because Sunak has uncapped bankers’ bonuses while imposing real-terms pay cuts on public sector workers?

Sunak reckons 200,000 fewer pensioners are in poverty today – but the number of pensioners in relative poverty has actually increased by more than 200,000. In 2021/22, more than two million pensioners were living in poverty in the UK.

Sunak’s comment about 100,000 new homes needs no response because the House of Lords rightly rejected the arguments in favour of building on land likely to be flooded with water that had been polluted, not only by developers but also by greedy privatised water firms.

Sunak reckons he’s delivered 4,000 prison officers – so why are there fewer now than in 2010? Does it have something to do with the privatisation – and profitisation – of our prisons?

Put it all together and you’d have to be demented to deny the comments in the following ‘X’ post:


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Why you can trust Vox Political: Lords torpedo Tory plan for developers to pollute rivers

Housebuilding: but it won’t happen on the flood plains of environmentally-sensitive rivers, thanks to the Lords.

Allow me to take this opportunity to remind you of something I suggested when the Conservative government first announced its plan to end “nutrient neutrality” rules that protect environmentally-sensitive waterways from pollution by new housing estates:

They’ll be built on the flood plains of environmentally-sensitive rivers, and most likely without any of the mitigation measures the government has promised.

So when they flood – and they will – those houses will be filled with human “wee and poo”.

Do you really want that stuff to get into everything you own? Have a think about it.

It seems the members of the House of Lords did have a think about it (those peers love Vox Political) and threw out the whole idea:

So there you have it.

These houses would indeed have been built on flood plains or areas at high risk of flooding – so not only would the rivers have been full of pollution after the “nutrient neutrality” rules were scrapped, but your house would have been full of it too.

The developers wouldn’t have cared because they would have had your money already.

Oh – but now it looks like they’re not going to have your money because they’re not going to be able to build on these flood plains.

And that means they won’t be keen to donate some of that money to the Tories (which is what This Writer thinks was the whole point of the plan in the first place).

So guess who’s really mad about it? Here’s Tory MP Simon Clarke, who has indeed taken at least one donation from a property developer (I stopped looking when I found one) – and a response from a right-thinking member of the public:

And would you like to know the real joy of this Tory defeat? Here‘s the BBC:

Because of the late stage at which the government tried to introduce the change, it cannot try again in the House of Commons now it has been defeated in the Lords.

Ministers would need to bring the proposal forward in a new bill.

I wonder if they will?


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The Tories DID lie to give builders bigger profits. Don’t buy their houses!

A river in flood: the new houses that will be built after the Tories dropped ‘nutrient neutrality’ rules will probably be on flood plains of environmentally-sensitive rivers that the water firms have already filled with raw sewage. They will flood, meaning if you buy a house there, all your possessions will be ruined.

EXTRA: Is it true that Michael Gove took two £50,000 donations from a property developer last year – and should we be asking whether that has anything to do with this change in government policy?

Now read on…

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds briefly became a hero – and then a zero – when it said Tory ministers were liars … and then apologised.

The charity had spoken up against Michael Gove’s decision to strip “nutrient neutrality” demands from rules governing housing developments near UK waterways:

The charity provided ample evidence to support its claim; the Tory government has insisted for years that it will improve environmental protections significantly. Having failed to do this in any way at all – and in fact having caused a disaster in our waterways – the Tories are now legislating to force authorities to ignore pollution altogether. Here are those claims, as provided by Feargal Sharkey, who fears the original posts may disappear:

This is the legislation requiring planning authorities to ignore the threat of pollution when granting permission for homes to be built, followed by the RSPB’s evidence of Tory lies:

Charity Commission guidance on campaigning gives the green light to posts of this nature:

And the RSPB at first won widespread support:

And then it all dissolved:

Let’s remember a few facts:

The evidence seems to be lost on Tory supporters who claim that a promise of funding (£140m extra – not more than £200m as described by the drone below) will entirely negate the damage that will be done:

For clarity: the nutrients (“human wee and poo” as the Wildlife Trust’s Craig Bennett described them on Radio 4) will be going into rivers that are already clogged with raw sewage that has been illegally discharged by England’s privatised water companies (with government blessing).

It will be easy to argue that it is impossible to show what extra harm is being done by new developments – and refuse to spend the money.

There’s also the question of whether the government should be spending public money on such cleaning in any event.

It seems that developers are responsible for one-fifth of donations to the Conservative Party, and have been sitting on more than a million planning permissions, waiting for the Tories to get rid of the expensive environmental protections that would cut into their profits.

After the Tories made their announcement, share prices in just three housebuilding firms rocketed by nearly £500 million – more than three times the extra cash the government has promised to mitigate the environmental harm they will do.

That’s money they were going to get as soon as they decided to start building again; building is a major economic multiplier – it adds a lot to the economy and that means people with cash want to invest in it to make more cash.

So the developers could easily have afforded to implement the environmental protections as formerly required by the law. They just didn’t want to. And to force the issue, they sat on more than a million planning permissions while the government was made increasingly embarrassed by its failure to hit housing targets.

Here’s the evidence:

In summary:

The RSPB had no reason to apologise for correctly calling Tory government ministers liars who reversed their environmental policies under pressure from greedy housing developers who wanted to maximise their profits.

The best way to give these greed-consumed creeps their just desserts is simple: don’t buy their houses.

I know – most of us won’t have the option.

But for the rest: they’ll be built on the flood plains of environmentally-sensitive rivers, and most likely without any of the mitigation measures the government has promised.

So when they flood – and they will – those houses will be filled with human “wee and poo”.

Do you really want that stuff to get into everything you own? Have a think about it.


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And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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