There’s been precious little airtime given to what any of the parties will do to make home-ownership something our kids can aspire to once more.
Have you noticed anything missing as the political parties enter the final week of campaigning in the run up to the general election next week?
The usual posturing and finger-pointing is all there of course along with the battle buses, the placards, the slogans …
But it’s more the policies we’re worried about – or should we say the lack of one in particular. Yes, we’ve heard about education, child care, policing, nationalisation of the railways and the water industry. There have been new policies and even U-turns on taxation too.
But one thing we haven’t heard very much about at all is one issue all the parties were keen to emphasise was a priority for them a few short months ago. What has happened to the determination to sort of the mess we’re in when it comes to the housing crisis?
What About The Housing “Crisis”?
Last autumn, the Conservatives were promising billions of pounds for projects which would unlock investment in new housing stock. Before that targets were set to build a million new homes by 2020. Fresh initiatives were mentioned which would help to get first-time buyers on the property ladder.
In the lettings market, agents were warned they wouldn’t be able to charge tenants fees any more while the Tories rejected calls for a rethink over recent taxation and ramped up the war on buy-to-let.
But, almost since the election was announced, there’s been precious little airtime given to what any of the parties will do to make home-ownership something our kids can aspire to once more – a silence we find both perplexing and a little ominous.
Maybe the parties believe it’s not a vote-winner; maybe they think most of us are more interested in the NHS, the privatised industries, public services and even a few extra bank holidays.
Perhaps our political leaders are resigned to a more European approach when it comes to property in the UK. Could it be that they’ve already reached the conclusion that, no matter what they do, the industry is doomed to eat itself anyway.
The Big Issue
If not, they’re leaving it late to address what surely must be one of the most significant social issues of the 21st century so far. After all, if left unattended, the current trends in housing are more likely to affect how all of us live, regardless of who owns our trains, our hospitals or our water pipes.
If it bothers you too, why not ask your candidates? Who knows; if enough of us demand answers, maybe there’s still time to have property in the UK move up the list a little. If it doesn’t, then there’s a chance, even in our own lifetime, we could see a one-bedroom apartment beyond the budget of most who can’t draw from the Bank of Mum & Dad – and what sort of society is that to leave to our children?