I can’t help noticing that the elephant wistfully named “housing benefit” is stampeding around the media again this morning with Punch and Judy of Westminster still squabbling frantically over which of them gets to hand out the ready cash to either the Landlords or the Tenants. It transpires that this benefit, designed by politicians to artificially manipulate the markets by allowing manual labourers to live alongside Lords has rocketed 86% in just three years with half a million more people claiming since 2009.
All this means in reality is that Landlords can now count on more taxpayer funded rent rises as grinning MP’s continue to promise the moon on a stick to their hard up constituents. Landlords who happily took out “buy to let” property mortgages at inflated prices safe in the knowledge that their risk would be covered by Government handing out ordinary taxpayers money to them rather than face the scandal of homeless on the streets. Even though we are assured that we have seen the end of brothers renting brothers their ex council houses for £2000 a week because the Council would pick up the bill, we are still left with the artificially high property bubble caused by simply handing out whatever Landlords demand from public funds.
Meanwhile, the left demand a cap on private rents - and thereby instantly creating another layer of state bureaucracy to be managed and manipulated by an army of council drones, no one has the good sense to realise that by limiting housing benefit, you will reduce rents AND deflate the property bubble as landlords jump off the gravy train and dump their expensive buy to lets into the hands of willing first time buyers. No landlord wants an empty property and a mortgage on it to pay, remember.
So why isn’t this happening? Simple. The Right will not alienate a core demographic of aspiring property moguls and private “pensionaires” by deflating their guaranteed income from the State and the Left will not relinquish their control over welfare “clients” who are forced to go cap in hand to Stalinist councils to keep the roofs over their heads. Coupled with the tightest planning controls outside of the demarcation zone between North and South Korea, we have reached a stalemate between two ideologies that suits no one at all. The taxpayer is fleeced by councils to keep landlords rich, property prices remain artificially high and the poor continue to beg for the crumbs.
Until we allow ourselves to build and stop funding the status quo, we will continue to pour £20 BILLION a year in housing benefit straight into the pockets of councils and landlords, money stripped from the economy, wrung out of those least able to afford it and fed to support the Big State. Will it happen? Will it hell - we have built an entire political class only capable of arranging deck chairs on the Titanic whilst denying the existence of Icebergs. Full steam ahead, comrades