In Insider yesterday:
The transformation of social housing in Scotland’s largest city under Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) has boosted the Scottish economy by £2 billion and supported thousands of jobs, a Fraser of Allander Institute report has calculated. The report confirms GHA’s investment programme – the biggest of its kind in Europe – contributed £2 billion to Scotland’s Gross Domestic Product. In addition, it supported an average of 2,425 full-time jobs per year, the equivalent of 36,500 years of full-time employment.’
In 2018-19 alone, the Scottish Government made nearly £10 million available to GHA.
Think what Scotland could do, shorn of Westminster.
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With big clippers!
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Together with the SG ending the right to buy, the housing associations can build up the public stock of housing and maintain it. By charging reasonable rents and by providing employment this can develop the economy in more genuinely productive ways. The UK economy has for nearly 40 years been distorted grossly by the rigged property market and the debt associated with that almost destroyed the economy in 2008 and might well do so in the near future. The voracious rent seeking has meant that large proportions of domestic budgets as well as huge amounts of housing benefit are going to renters who plonk them into offshore accounts. This money is being lost to the economy. If rents fall relative to income, people will spend on other things and these will stimulate a productive economy which provides genuine goods and services. Rent seeking is UNPRODUCTIVE, and is parasitical upon the economy.
As a homeowner, I would welcome a fall in house prices. Notionally our flat is now worth 50 times what we paid in 1975. In reality, it is worth fuck all – other than essential shelter and warmth – because, if we sold it we’d have to buy somewhere else. We might make a small profit, but FIFTY TIMES what we once had?? Dream on. It is castles in air.