(c) Spare Room
(You’d have to be Barking and Dagenham to pay this rent!)
In the Guardian today:
‘The situation is worst in Barking and Dagenham, according to the official data analysed by Shelter, where average rents have jumped 42% between 2011 and 2017 while average household wages have only gone up 2%. Elmbridge in Surrey was the local authority area with the second biggest gap, with rents rising 21% while wages have dropped 15%. In Bristol, rents have climbed 44% while wages are only up 12%; in Cambridge, rents have increased 36% against a 9% rise for wages. In Tunbridge Wells in Kent, rents are 19% higher while wages are down 9%; in Milton Keynes rents are up 29% and wages have risen 3%.’
So, typically, rents rising around 30-40% faster than wages?
For clarification, I’m suggesting, hard evidence-free admittedly, that these parts of England are more non-Scottish, in terms of dominant values and access to affordable housing, than other parts to the North.
What’s the situation in SNP Scotland, Scotsman?
‘UK and Scottish Government figures show the median weekly wage in Scotland rose from £396 to £442 between 2012 and 2017 – an increase of 12 per cent. The average rent for a two-bedroom property rose from £553 to £643 over the same period – a rise of 16 per cent.’
So, rents rising 4% faster than wages? Not good but not anywhere near as bad?
Why is it better in SNP Scotland, BBC Scotland?
‘New dawn’ for Scottish private renters. Major changes [by the SNP government] to the law have come into effect for Scotland’s 760,000 private renters. The private residential tenancy rules will bring an end to fixed-term rentals, meaning leases will effectively be open-ended. Rent increases can only be made once every 12 months, and tenants who believe them to be unfair can take them to a rent officer. Shelter Scotland described the change as a “new dawn” for private renters.’
A ‘To-the-point’ report? Actually, I’m a wee bit tired.
Just want to thank you for your efforts in running this site. Very helpful in persuading soft No’s. Also good info for when debating with hard No’s.
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Cheers Andy. you support is appreciated,
echo that point ,too many people forget the time and effort needed to keep other folk informed about things the MSM won’t touch because it might just get people questioning what exactly is really going on , and not what they are told is going on , the effort is much appreciated
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Thanks Robert. I’m (mostly) up for it so fun. Support appreciated.
I would like to second that Andy, this is a great wee blog John. Your work is much appreciated.
Thanks. Praise lifts me through tough times!
The situation with regard to soaring private rents is a direct consequence of the Thatcher government’s ‘right-to-buy’ policy, coupled with the iniquitous decision to forbid the revenues from the knock-down-price sales to be reinvested into building more council housing, thus alleviating homelessness.
What they were doing was creating a severe shortage in supply at a time of increasing demand – the population of the UK has risen from around 55miliion atb the time to around 65 million now – thus forcing up incomes for the rentier class to the detriment of the bulk of the population.
Not only was council housing and the availability of private rented housing severely reduced, the property buying market was also squeezed, by reducing the numbers of particular types of housing for particular groups of potential buyers and by land and property hoarding. Again, reducing supply and increasing demand, thus forcing up prices. This was compounded by the venal financial services offering dodgy loans at low rates to people who literally could not repay them, thus bringing about the financial collapse. Messrs Brown and Darling then operated ‘socialism for the rich’ by bailing out the banks, who continued on their merry property-speculating ways.
Unused brownfield sites are kept undeveloped – with no rates or any taxation on them – to rig the market. Whole blocks of housing lie empty, owned by offshore and foreign corporations to keep prices up. New blocks of flats in residential areas such as my own have no permanent residents; they are just short term AirBnB type lets.
The Scottish Government has abolished the right to buy and has protected housing associations from being forced into sales. It needs to consider rent controls. It needs to introduce land taxes, particularly on unused land, it needs to accelerate community ownership and it needs to facilitate more local housing coops and individual housebuilding.
Because of the fragmentary nature of some of the powers devolved and hindered by Scottish Labour’s malign attempts to make the Smith Commission as weak as possible, the SG faces a fair struggle with the financial and land owning classes. I suspect that the ‘power grab’ currently with the Supreme Court, if supported by the Court could lead to a taking back of more powers.
We need independence asap.
Very useful contribution and addition, as always.