The issue is surplus housing – the remarkable growth of space that people don't need. Between 2003 and 2008 (the latest available figures), there was a 45% increase in the number of under-occupied homes in England. The definition of under-occupied varies, but it usually means that households have at least two bedrooms more than they require. This category now accounts for over half the homes in which single people live, and almost a quarter of those used by larger households. Nearly 8m homes – 37% of the total housing stock – are officially under-occupied.
The only occasions on which you'll hear politicians talk about this is when they're referring to public housing. Many local authorities are trying to encourage their tenants to move into smaller homes. But public and social housing account for only 11% of the problem. The government reports that the rise in under-occupation "is entirely due to a large increase within the owner-occupied sector". Nearly half of England's private homeowners are now knocking around in more space than they need.
Greedy inconsiderate bastards getting all uppity, demanding more room than poor Moonbat deems "they need".
This appears to leave just one likely explanation: money. My guess, though I can find no research or figures either to support or disprove it, is that the richest third of the population has discovered that it can spread its wings. A report by the International Longevity Centre comes to the same conclusion: "Wealth … is the key factor in whether or not we choose to occupy more housing space than is essential."
I can't believe it either George - that despite the state's ongoing attempts to fleece us liberally since time immemorial some people have managed to break out of the state ordained (and taxpayer paid) rabbit hutches and into a slightly larger one in which you can enjoy slightly more space for that pool table you always wanted or just enough room so you don't smack your hands or feet against your cupboard-width walls whilst playing Kinect.
While most houses are privately owned, the total housing stock is a common resource. Either we ensure that it is used wisely and fairly, or we allow its distribution to become the starkest expression of inequality. The UK appears to have chosen the second option. We have allowed the market, and the market alone, to decide who gets what – which means that families in desperate need of bigger homes are crammed together in squalid conditions, while those who have more space than they know what to do with face neither economic nor social pressure to downsize.
No George, just no; housing is not a common resource - hence why the bank can take enormous amounts of money out of mine and my wife's account every month to pay for our house. What you are actually diagnosing is that there are people in this land who's belief in an all providing state, with housing, jobs and money for all, is being subjected to reality.
That said I believe from personal experience that this is bunkum; my wife and I live in a 3-bedroom house with just enough room for us, an office/spare room and the baby's room and we are already considering moving when (if?) baby no.2 comes along. Our church features one single mum with 3 kids occupying one half of a semi-detached with the other half containing her mother, who raised her and over 7 brothers and sisters in that house; there is now only one child from that original household who doesn't have a child or four and occupies social housing, how when both me and my wife work paying for their "right" to these benefits can we even think about it ourselves.
Yet that is not what annoys me about Moonbats asinine comments; as Old Holborn points out:
Planning laws - 160,000 families own 37 million acres of the UK whilst 16 million homeowners manage on just 2.8 million acres. £5000 an acre for land, £1 MILLION an acre for land with planning consent from the state.
We are not full. There is plenty of land but all of it is held captive by the State to maintain an artificial wealth that most will use to fund their own pensions, even though having paid the state to provide one for them.
I can build a house for £20,000, the sum most first time buyers will need to raise before they can now obtain a mortgage of £180,000 to purchase their first property. In all, they will repay close to £400,000 to banks to buy a house worth £20,000. they will have to pay income tax on that money, so in all, a £20K house will end up costing them £600,000 and a lifetimes debt to achieve. that is truly indentured labour to the banks and the State. Paying through the nose, a lifetime long to the plantation owner for the privilege of being a slave.
Not mentioning the fact that once you die any of your life-long possessions will immediately have 50% taxes on it; I knew of one poor young lady on my wife's teacher-training course who had to withdraw after her mother, her soul remaining family, had the hall to die midway through the course, resulting in the then exchequer Gordon Brown bombarding her with menaces to pay a near half-million pound death-tax bill on her childhood home; George might see that as someone inheriting a fairly massive fortune and that being a good thing, but I doubt the pain of losing your Mum plus the feel of Brown's metaphorical hot breath on your neck were a particularly pleasant entrance to the land of the newly rich and unemployed but I digress.
I wonder if, in the interests of reducing our housing, ecological, carbon or whatever footprint we are supposed to be afraid of this week, George would support a campaign to repeal the vast swathes of planning laws that over-inflate the cost of housing thus creating the unnatural scarcity that he mentions briefly?
Or is it more likely that he will pursue this obvious bridging bandwagon till the government can get suitably scared about "biodiversity" to start turning on that funding fawcet just as the global warming one dries up?