Economic Agenda has, for many years, banged on about the need to build more homes. This lack of focus on housing just cost the Conservatives their majority in the House of Commons. It was the misery felt by countless “priced-out” young adults of family-forming age, renting or still living with parents, that saw them vote Labour.
The Tories must now take immediate, bold and visible steps to ensure many more affordable homes are built, reining in the sky-high cost of housing. If not, a generation of natural Conservatives will increasingly back Jeremy Corbyn – and Britain will soon be run by a Marxist.
We saw plenty Brexit-related headlines last week, after the government suffered its first Parliamentary defeat over the Article 50 bill. Theresa May insisted her plan to trigger Brexit before April “remains unchanged”, despite the House of Lords trying to force the government into guaranteeing the rights of all EU citizens currently living in the UK. The Prime Minister is “confident” the Lords’ amendment will be voted down when the bill returns to the Commons.
Our newspapers and airwaves are dominated not only by Brexit, of course, but also the spoken and tweeted words of Donald Trump. The US President gave his first speech to Congress last week – an address generally seen as more statesmanlike than his previous efforts.
“Prefabs to solve housing crisis,” screamed a newspaper front page last weekend. Can the shortage of homes in Britain really be so bad that ministers are floating plans to encourage the first new generation of temporary, pre-packed houses since the great reconstruction drive which followed the Second World War?
The UK is in the midst of a housing shortage that numerous credible experts now describe as “chronic” and “acute”. While it’s widely recognized we need 250,000 new homes each year to meet population growth and household formation, house-building hasn’t reached that level since the late 1970s.