Any Government Changes?

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We’ve had a ‘new Government’ for 6 or 7 weeks and not sure what has changed. We officially leave the EU on 31st January, but we will be in a transition period for the next year.

How delighted Mr Johnson and party must be. We’ve had over 3 years of Brexit headlines; heaven knows how long we’ll have Harry and Megxit headlines. 

Labour concentrate on finding a new Leader of the Opposition, most of the candidates having very little Government experience. The fires in Australia have been horrifying and no-one doubts the sincerity of the Prime Minister when he expresses his regret at the loss of lives and property in a country where so many of our citizens have family and friends, but let us be honest, the Government cannot deal with everything at once.

So, what is being left? It seems the state of the private sector, is what. No matter what the figures say about the age of first-time buyers, the inability to obtain mortgages, graduates in their 20’s and 30’s unable to buy and saddled with university debt.

The Government seem committed to home-ownership (perhaps not surprising since it was a Conservative Government in 1980 which gave local authority tenants the right to buy and at the same time, forbade them replacing these properties with new-build, unless for particular vulnerable groups) and there appear to be quite generous ‘help-to-buy’ schemes. 

I am not impressed with the schemes I have seen. These are not ‘help-to-buy’ what many people would consider appropriate first homes, which is what is needed for the less well-paid. I have seen a scheme on the south-side of Manchester which offers 4-bedroomed, 2-bathroomed new-build properties, costing nearly £400,000 with ‘help to buy’ posters. Are these intended for the care-worker, the clerk, who once would have expected to buy, though modestly, or for the far-higher paid?

I am not opposed to home ownership; I am delighted that both my children bought modest houses which they have made into comfortable homes (one of whom lived in private sector property for a number of years). They did it by hard saving (and just a little help from their parents). 

I am opposed to the Government putting all their eggs into one basket; it is, after all, our money that they are putting into home-ownership schemes which will place the children of the middle-class in a mid-point of the housing ladder, whilst others will strive, with zero hour contracts and minimum wages to climb onto the lowest rung. 

And those that can’t? They will still need a well-managed, good standard, private sector – who it seems is ignored by Government; landlords are expected to provide this with minimal returns, attacked by local authorities, legislation and let’s not forget  the tenants who resent landlords perceived as cheats and very much a second class option compared with the small amount of social sector housing being provided by Housing Associations.

Private sector landlords – stand proud! You chose to put your investments into property, yes to make a profit, but also to house the many who are on our streets, or living in over-crowded accommodation, or as unwelcome guests on someone’s couch. We need you, but the Government does not deserve you.

For advice on buy to let issues – Ask Sharon