Social Housing spending in England collapses under callous Tories while the SNP pushes on


I’ve reported numerous times on the increases in social house-building in Scotland, mostly subsidised by Scottish government grants. I know we need even more, but see:

Scottish Government increases supply of affordable housing and builds at more, perhaps much more, than twice the rate as in England

However, the situation in England is worsening dramatically according to the National Housing Federation. Despite one million on waiting lists, English government grants have fallen from £11.4 billion in 2009 to £5.3bn in 2015. The federation describes the situation as a crisis and points out that it makes little economic sense even from the government perspective with spending on housing benefit rising from £16.6bn to £25.1bn over the last twenty years. Housing benefit going to private landlords has doubled over the last ten years to £9.1 billion. This latter point might be where it does make sense to some Tories. See this from the Guardian in 2016:

‘According to Guardian research, almost a third of MPs are now letting out their houses or flats, with 196 declaring rental income on the official register of interests this year. The majority of those are earning more than £10,000 a year from the property, topping up their basic MP’s annual salary of £67,060. The Conservative party has the highest number of landlord MPs at 128, meaning 39% of Tory MPs are landlords, compared with 26% of Scottish National party MPs and 22% from Labour.’

At first sight, I don’t like the look of the SNP percentage but I suppose what we can’t see is whether an MP is renting out their only property or whether they have a portfolio. Also, the use of percentages for the SNP is misleading. The number will be around 12 or 13 compared to the 128 Tories.

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