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Housing is one of the great issues in this general election campaign. None of the old parties have any solutions to the desperate plight many find themselves in because they cannot obtain decent housing.
The Green Party policies are radical, because nothing less will tackle what is one of the great emergencies of our age.
There are a number of fundamental problems. Yes there is a great shortage of housing. But also the housing which is being built is the wrong kind.
The attitude of the old parties can be summed up by Sir Robin Wales, the Labour Mayor of Newham. When the heroic Focus E15 campaigners (follow them here https://www.facebook.com/pages/Focus-E15-Mothers/602860129757343) met him, he said, ‘You can’t afford to live in Newham. What do you want me to do about it?’ and shrugged his shoulders.
Ensuring people have housing is one of the basic jobs of government. No wonder voters are so fed up when politicians are so lacking in ambition that they wont even acknowledge their problems. Boris of course just supports whatever gigantic proposal for luxury flats his friends the big property companies propose (see here his support for the ruinous proposal for Bishopsgate Goodsyard http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/jan/18/last-thing-london-needs-is-another-seven-towers-bishopsgate-goodsyard
I have already sent in my written objection to this to Hackney and Tower Hamlets Council which you can read here https://alistairforbethnalgreenandbow.wordpress.com/2014/11/06/bishopsgate-goodsyard/)
YOU CAN SUBMIT YOUR OWN OBJECTION VIA EMAIL AND THE WEBSITE
The planning officers to send your objection to are:
Quoting application numbers: PA/14/02011 and PA/14/02096
Quoting application numbers: 2014/2425 and 2014/2427
So we need more and we need the right sort.
The Green Party’s policies are
- Build more social housing, directly funded by government, local and central and increase the maintenance funding
- Increase the funding to Housing Associations
- Support Housing Action Trusts and Co-Operatives
- Rent capping on private rents (which incidentally will reduce the Housing Benefit cost)
- Stop tax breaks for foreign investors. Money spent investing in property should be from taxed income like everyone else.
- Introduce a land value tax
- Invest in our existing housing stock to upgrade its energy efficiency
The money for all this exists if the political will to act exists. We would introduce the Robin Hood Tax on financial transactions, we would cancel Trident, and the Land Value Tax will raise many millions.
Successive governments and the market have failed to provide decent houses for all. In the 21st century this is a disgrace. We need action, and we need it now.
That’s why I was out this weekend leafleting to support the March for Homes on 31 January
There will be a big Green Party presence. It would be great if you came too.