Housing in Britain

To The Times
The Chancellor of the Exchequer’s modest housing measures deserve modest support, but most of this discussion misses the point. Of course supply must be increased, not least to deal with the backlog. The underlying problem, though, is uncontrolled demand. Most household growth comes from immigration, not from the domestic population: in recent years, more than four-fifths of additional households in the UK have been headed by a person born overseas.

Forget the absurdly defective household projections by the Department for Communities and Local Government. For as long as net migration continues at about a quarter of a million per year, Britain will be trapped in a treadmill of housebuilding without limit. (David Coleman, emeritus professor of demography, University of Oxford)

My comment: Britain is a small island and it has beautiful countryside that we all want preserved. At the same time the native population is barely increasing. As it heads off over the 60 million figure the extra people are mostly immigrants. We need them (provided we can integrate them) because they work hard and offer skills we are no longer prepared for now that technical education is so poor and apprenticeships few in number.

But the housing issue is a big problem, and it is right to bring it up. It seems unfair to ask the taxpayer to pay for more expensive housing, but where else will the money come from? I think Epicurus, given similar circumstances, would have advocating cutting military expenditure and putting resources into housing, rather than increase taxes. But then, like now, nobody ever asked him.

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