Plummeting home ownership across West Yorkshire shows housing is no longer just a London problem.

Councillor James Baker leader of Calderdale Liberal Democrats  said:

“Fewer people are getting the opportunity to own their own homes, many younger people now struggle to be able to afford their own property. The struggle to buy property makes it harder for people to gain financial security that they may need to rely on in later life.”

The analysis shows that having peaked at 71 per cent in 2003, the proportion of people owning their own home across England has fallen steadily over the last decade by seven per cent.

Back in 2003, 70.8 per cent of households living in West Yorkshire were owners –  However, home ownership has since plummeted by 10 per cent – more so that by this year year just 60.2% per cent of households living in West Yorkshire owned their own home.

This fall in home ownership has corresponded with a near doubling in the proportion of private renters across England, up from 11 per cent in 2003 to 19 per cent in 2015.

Councillor Baker added:

“Here in Calderdale The Labour Council blames the Conservative Government. And the Conservative Government blames the Labour Council. Meanwhile there are people struggling to put a roof over their head, it’s time both Labour and the Conservative’s stopped arguing over whose fault it is and started working with us to find a solution.”

 

Home ownership across UK:

Area Peak of home ownership Home ownership in Feb-16 Change Date of peak home ownership
East Anglia 73.4% 66.9% -6.5% Oct-03
East Midlands 75.0% 66.9% -8.1% Oct-04
Greater Manchester 72.4% 57.9% -14.5% Apr-03
Inner London 42.6% 36.4% -6.2% Oct-04
Merseyside 71.4% 62.3% -9.1% Apr-03
Outer London 71.4% 57.8% -13.5% Oct-00
Rest of North West 78.7% 71.4% -7.3% Oct-99
Rest of Northern region 72.4% 63.3% -9.1% Oct-05
Rest of Scotland 71.5% 63.7% -7.7% Oct-04
Rest of South East 75.7% 70.5% -5.3% Apr-00
Rest of West Midlands 78.1% 68.7% -9.5% Oct-05
Rest of Yorks & Humberside 74.6% 65.0% -9.5% Apr-04
South West 75.2% 69.3% -5.9% Oct-99
South Yorkshire 68.2% 58.4% -9.8% Oct-05
Strathclyde 66.7% 63.3% -3.4% Nov-07
Tyne & Wear 64.0% 56.5% -7.5% Apr-03
West Midlands (met county) 70.5% 59.3% -11.2% Apr-05
West Yorkshire 70.8% 60.2% -10.6% Apr-03
England 70.8% 63.8% -7.0% Apr-03
Northern Ireland 73.5% 63.0% -10.5% Nov-06
Scotland 69.1% 63.5% -5.6% Oct-04
UK 70.9% 64.1% -6.8% Oct-04
Wales 74.8% 69.6% -5.1% May-06

Liberal Democrat councillors back call for Council’s Cabinet to do more to tackle Calderdale’s housing problems.

Construction worker laying bricks showing trowel and guideline.

Construction worker laying bricks showing trowel and guideline.

Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Cllr James Baker (Warley) said: “Our population is increasing and the way we live is changing and both are increasing the local demand for housing. However, figures just released show that during David Cameron’s premiership, house building was at its lowest level since 1923. Many people – especially young people – are struggling to get onto the housing ladder. We need more houses to rent and to buy and covering the whole range of types and prices.”

“Calderdale needs a strong construction industry to provide the houses and the jobs that local people need. Action needs to be taken now to equip our young people with the skills the industry needs, especially if we are to become less reliant on workers from across Europe.”

“Houses need to be of good quality and built in the right places. We must protect our green spaces and especially the Green Belt. We want to see an emphasis on building on previously-developed brownfield sites. As the Council has given planning permission for over 3,000 homes on sites that are currently not being developed, building these homes would be a major step forward and reduce the pressure to build on other, less appropriate sites”

“With interest rates at record lows, now is the time to be investing in housing to ensure a better future for Calderdale residents”.

Kramer comments on Google tax deal report

Commenting on today’s report by MPs on the Public Accounts Committee about the UK’s controversial tax deal with Google, Liberal Democrat economic spokesperson Susan Kramer said we need to ‘fix the broken tax system’.

“This report puts beyond doubt the simple fact that our tax system is broken.  The fact that Google, or any other big multinational company, can get away paying the bare minimum of taxation puts British business at a competitive disadvantage and leaves ordinary tax payers worse off.

“Instead of trying to claim credit for what is a truly pathetic settlement with Google, the Chancellor should be trying to fix a corporate tax system that is clearly no longer fit for purpose.  We need a system which allows HMRC to bring the full weight of UK law in ensuring that companies pay their fair share, no matter how much an hour their lawyers charge.”

Shadow environment secretary wants meat eaters to be treated like smokers

People at work in a grocery store

Warnings and adverts discouraging us from eating meat could become a reality if Labour’s shadow environment secretary gets her way.

There are many benefits to eating more vegetarian meals, they are often healthy and can have less of an impact on the environment. Additionally you do not have the suffering that can sometimes come with industrialised farming methods. I think most people would accept this, and be open minded towards having a few vegetarian dishes a week, along with a bit of fish and a few meat dishes as well – what we might call a balanced diet!

You can put a good case together that nutritional health advice should encourage people to try a few vegetarian dishes a week. I wouldn’t think many people would have a problem if some of the healthy eating advice gave some gentle encouragement towards vegetarian meals, so long as it was still their choice and they weren’t feeling harangued into a certain lifestyle.

However Labour’s new vegan shadow shadow environment takes a much more hard line approach. She wants advertising campaigns such as those targeted towards smokers, to stop people eating meat. Sadly this is typical of a lot of Labour’s approach to health issues, a strong nanny state paternalism that seeks to control society, rather than a more gentle educational approach. As a Liberal I think we should help educate people as to what’s healthy, and then allow people the freedom to choose what they eat.  We saw the same type of paternalism here in Calderdale where the Labour group wanted controls placed on E-cigs (despite their being evidence they can help people to give up smoking.) This nanny approach to health is all born out of good intentions, but the ‘we know what’s best for you attitude’ does wind me up as someone who values individual choice and independence.

“I really believe that meat should be treated in exactly the same way as tobacco, with public campaigns to stop people eating it.” – Kerry McCarthy shadow environment secretary.

I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want a load of money spent on nagging adverts warning us not to eat bacon sandwiches. We have to consider as well that a lot of land simply isn’t suitable for growing vegetables. A lot of the steep sided Pennine upland is really only good for sheep farming, or cattle when you get a bit lower into the valleys. There are a lot of farmers still in Calerdale, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with buying quality meat raised in Calderdale at a local butchers and eating it as part of a balanced diet.