Thursday, 20 October 2011

Housing minister says no to downsizing?

This article from the BBC caused a bit of a broo ha ha in the right wing corners yesterday

It has been suggested by the Intergeneration Foundation, in a report backed by Labour, that pensioners living in under occupied homes, should downsize to smaller properties to accommodate younger families with children. They'd be offered all kinds of carrots, like tax breaks, or no stamp duty on their smaller property.

To my surprise Shapps has said: "Whilst this report makes interesting reading, we do not agree that people should be taxed or bullied out of their homes."

I agree!! My goodness Shapps, we agree!!

Hang on. This is about private properties.

Not so long ago, indeed, still raging somewhat, is a Tory government plan to oof pensioners out of their homes. OK, just council ones...

The hypocrisy!! Labour encouraged downsizing too so but clearly not one thing for one group and another for another.

As much as I desperately need a council flat for me and my vulnerable family, I've always understood that older people might want to stay in their homes, might want to keep a room free for visiting grandchildren, visiting friends, regardless of their social or financial status.

Class and money has reared its ugly head again.

In the Mail (of course they'd be against this!) Dr Ros Altmann, director of the Saga group said: "The idea that older people are hoarding housing has come across as quite offensive. The family home is about more that just bricks and mortar and it's unhelpful to point to older people who live in a three-bedroom house and say they don't deserve to be in it." (20/10/11 p4)Hear hear, for all older people, not just those with mortgages.

I hope when debate swings back to council and housing association tenants, Shapps words, indeed, his Party's words, are relayed back to them.

People should not be bullied out of their homes. No people. No-one.

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