A country where you get something for something, not something for nothing…
So sayeth David Cameron and I have even put his mantra in a nice shade of Tory blue and the above was a few months back in early 2015.
And I believe in something for something; not something for nothing.
And that one was last year and just ahead of the Scottish Referendum and a doctrine he and the Conservative Party holds dear. And they repeat this mantra time and time again as they “Secure Britain’s Future” they tell us (also repeatedly)
Yet they are doing the exact opposite of Securing Britain’s Housing Future despite the fact they get one hell of a lot of something for something from social housing.
A veritable quid pro quo feast in fact though not that you will ever know because the numpties who run social housing do not tell you that they save each and every taxpayer £150 per year in tax.
Let me repeat that:
Social housing saves every British taxpayer £150 per year in tax.
Let me put that another way:
Take away social housing and every British Taxpayer will have to pay £150 per year more in tax
What the hell am I jabbering on about reader? Social housing is “subsidised” (boo! hiss) BY the taxpayer and costs the taxpayer money so White Dee and all the rest of the scroungers that poverty porn TV portrays the social tenant as one and all can watch Jeremy Kyle in their PJs right?
Q) Is social housing subsidised?
A) Yes and No.
Yes in exactly the same way the BBC is subsidised. The BBC and social housing both receive government money – the subsidy bit. Yet they both provide something back in return and what social housing actually provides in return for that investment will surprise you.
If I said give me £45 and I will give you £149 in return you would bite my hand off. You may even say if you give me £450 million would I give you back £1.49 billion and I on behalf of social housing would say YES.
If you want to call that “subsidy” then feel free yet the reality is that social housing is a fabulous invest to save product and the figures above are all correct …and there was you Joe Public thinking that you subsidise social housing and it costs you money!
Still that’s to be expected as you have never been told that is saves you the individual each year and collectively it save all the British taxpayers an absolute bloody fortune – Yes that’s a professional term that is entirely apt and I highlight that in Conservative blue so that David Cameron and his Conservative mantra of something for something prevents his current policy towards social housing – that of peeling an orange in his own pocket and conveniently forgetting his mantra – changes.
Here’s the numbers which prove all of the above.
1. The ‘subsidy’ or investment that the British taxpayer gives social housing is £1.125 billion per year.
The above letter in October 2010 from the then housing minister Grant Shapps says a figure of £4.5 billion is the “subsidy” over the Spending Review period. That SR period was 2011/12 and 2012/13 and 2013/14 and 2014/15 or 4 years.
This means social housing was “subsidised” by £1.125 billion in each of these 4 years although to give Shapps some credit he does go on to say “As part of this INVESTMENT…”
So what does the government get back in return? Where is the “something for something” or the quid pro quo or what the bloody hell is government, any government Tory or Labour, doing giving away £1.125 billion or hard-working taxpayers money to social landlords?
Because they save an absolute bloody fortune by doing so that’s why!
In return for this investment the government gets much cheaper rents which of course means they pay out a lot less of your hard-earned taxpayers money in Housing Benefit – and we can easily quantify that amount by looking at the official housing benefit figures and the latest ones are for February 2015:
The official figures show that a tenant claiming housing benefit in the social sector – the council or HA tenant – receives on average £86.27 per week in HB which is £21.05 per week lower than the £107.32 per week paid to the private rented tenant.
So what the government gets in return for this subsidy / investment is a saving of £21.05 per week for every social housing tenant receiving HB. Take away the subsidy / investment or if it had never been there in the first place and this government and every previous one would have to pay £21.05 more per week to every social housing tenant in HB.
The latest official figures show there are 3,296,610 current social housing tenants receiving HB and the government with the subsidy / investment of £1.125 billion per year is therefore saving 3,296,610 lots of £21.05 per week.
That’s a saving of £3.7 billion to the government and to you the taxpayer each year.
That is the same as the government giving social housing £45 per year and getting back £149 per year or the same as your bank or building society or broker giving you an interest rate on your savings of 329%
Obviously the more government invests in social housing the greater the saving and the greater the reduction in the overall housing benefit bill and the overall “welfare” bill…oh and the less the hard-working taxpayer pays in tax to the government too!
And you thought you subsidised social housing Dear British Taxpayer?
Yet it is one thing to say that social housing is a great investment for every British taxpayer and quite another for any government to put that investment up in the first place. Why would a Tory government of today put the money and risk the next government or the one after that which could be a Labour government reaping the benefit – and of course vice versa?
The current Tory government and the current Labour Opposition will not invest in social housing yet where will your children or grandchildren live? Even in your children have done well and earn the national average wage in their 20s or 30s they cannot afford to buy.
They increasingly can’t afford to rent privately such is the much higher rent levels there which would consume well over 40% of either and so the only choice they have is social housing and to pay a low rent there while they save to add to the bank of Mum and Dad (and Nan and Grandad too) for a deposit.
We talk of the housing crisis today yet it gets worse by the day as house prices and private rents increase by the day due to the shortage of housing we have and that shortage has been caused by governments of red and blue not investing in social housing for the last 35 years and more.
Before that both red and blue government built social housing in huge numbers and rightly. Not only did that have people working on such projects and not claiming benefit, it meant that the tax take was higher and the benefit bill was lower; and that the UK had real growth; and that people could afford to save for a deposit due to subsidised lower rents and afford to buy which makes them spend more on white goods and fuels further growth and so on – a very Keynesian economic policy that worked and worked well.
Yet now we have the politics of austerity or put another way government is NOT prepared to invest in jobs or creating the conditions for employment which has always meant that the hard-working taxpayer has demanded government builds enough housing yet now they do not.
Whatever your views on the need for austerity economics and mine are that is the economics of the idiot, it still leaves that question for the British taxpayer – Where will my children and/or grandchildren live? many governments especially Conservative ones like to compare our everyday household economics to running the country, it is all about budgeting and planning and preparing for later life for ourselves and of course our children and grandchildren and to use the Conservative’s banner it is about “Securing Britain’s Future”
Yet by refusing to invest in social housing your children and grandchildren have no housing future.
The social housing lobbies are weak and have been ignored by successive governments since Thatcher and now government and all political parties have grown a third deaf ear to social housing.
The social housing sector are so entrenched in only speaking to government despite being rebuffed every year for the past 35 years and stupidly adopt the same tactic of only speaking to government and wouldn’t dream of being like every other business in the history of mankind and sell their product and service to the customer.
If you wait for these Neanderthals to see the light you’ll be fine if you have a 20 bedroom mansion for the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren to live in.
If you haven’t then you if Joe Public want somewhere for your children and grandchildren to live then you need to tell government that, as you’re parents and grandparents did, and you can save yourself an absolute bloody fortune in tax while you do.