Political boffin, keen fisherman looking forward to retirement.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Gordon Brown a Friend of First Time Buyers?


Credit where credit is due, Gordon Brown is onto something with his plan to build 5 new towns consisting of a total of 100,000 eco homes. These towns will be carbon neutral using locally sourced energy. Without seeing the detail I’ll take the announcement at face value. During the Assembly election Plaid made the case for greater local energy production, whereby whole communities produce their own energy working outside or in addition to the national grid. This isn’t pie in the sky stuff, Woking already has such a system, and you have to ask why aren’t we already seeing the same sort of developments in Wales?

The second part of Brown’s plan is to increase opportunities for home ownership. He is trying to make himself out as the friend of those unable to purchase a home. The problem he faces of course is that the hyperinflation we have witnessed in the housing market over the last ten years has been a direct consequence of his own policies. There has never been a Chancellor so ready to fiddle the system to deliberately drive up house prices. The most blatant of course was his decision to change official inflation from the Retail Price Index to the Consumer Price Index, which meant that interest rates have remained artificially low.

Politicians and political parties always have to reinvent themselves to stay in the game. This however is a clear case of too little too late.

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