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Mrs Cable slams coalition housing policy

Michael Crick | 18:57 UK time, Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Rachel Smith, the wife of the Business Secretary, Vince Cable has attacked the coalition's plans to end life-long tenancies in social housing.

They would lead to a bureaucratic nightmare and solve nothing, she says in the new edition of the Liberal Democrat grassroots magazine Liberator.

"It is a seriously bad idea, though it tries to deal with a real problem," she says. "The review process every five years would be a nightmare. If you found yourself threatened with the loss of your home, wouldn't you make sure your household was at its biggest and poorest at the moment of review?"

Mrs Cable, who is the chair of a small rural housing association, says she would however, abolish the right to succeed to a tenancy for the next generation, and limit same-generation automatic transfers to surviving long-term partners.

"The proposal to abolish secure tenancies is not sensible: 'All that glistens is not gold.' But with a bit more thought, strategies to move people on from scarce social housing to less subsidised tenures could be developed.

"It is clear that providing adequate housing for all cannot be left entirely to the private market, but carrots could do more than sticks and cost less, both in terms of human misery and public money."


  • Comment number 1.

    Mrs Cable....could you have a word with your fella......

  • Comment number 2.

    ""It is clear that providing adequate housing for all cannot be left entirely to the private market, but carrots could do more than sticks and cost less, both in terms of human misery and public money.""

    There is no need to be giving people free housing for life. There never was and it is a serious disincentive to supporting yourself. It is tiresome to hear again and again people talking down the market when there isn't one - housing benefit, public sector employment and terrible regulation of the banking sector have served to push up prices substantially and presumably intentionally. Our 'betters' can't possibly be *that* thick. Note how many MPs happen to have property portfolios.

    What matters is who is paying the bill for accommodation and in far, far too many cases it is not the person living in the property, whether the property is council owned or privately owned. There is no shortage of housing - there are reckoned to be a million homes stood empty. There is (and always will be) a 'shortage' of subsidised housing. If you could get on a waiting list you would wouldn't you.

    If the Government were serious about tackling many of the issues plaguing our economy and welfare system they should be enacting measures to lower the cost of living. Unfortunately they are in the grip of green-mania and fully intent on substantially increasing the costs of travel, energy, food and housing.

    Another somewhat whistful measure I can think of would be building council houses as the proper infrastructural investment fiscal stimuli are supposed to be spent on and then restrict them to people *with* jobs who will pay their own rent and council tax. The properties will be paid for by the tenants and a good quality home becomes an incentive to get a job.

  • Comment number 3.

    I think it is sad that Liberal Democratic Party is like a Norwegian Blue. Parrot is not dead squawks Nick Clegg Deputy Leader of the conservative party. It is dead and blue!

    I think it is sad that we are not considering that in certain areas you need regulations as in the housing sector as a form of rent control.

    Private Rent
    Have a property tax bands for various types of properties from one bedroom to mansion

    This is the rent band you can rent it out for and this is property tax you will be charged on that band.

    I think there should be a cap on private rents. We had it before the First World War and Second World War are we saying that we know better than them? Are we so callous to allow everything to go the price of everything and the value of nothing in our society before it all gone.

    Yes, people will say I should be able to do what I like? Then drink untreated water that has to be treated for various things as well, and the sewage.

    So, yes you can make your profit, but not monopolise the market as to disadvantage other for your sake of your profit.

    Rent Control has to be the interest of everyone, people on housing benefits or not? It would also mean would know that it is fairer system all those of low, middle, upper income on rent.

    Price and Profit, or Value and Dignity

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    3. You are probably a Labour plant who watches this site and injects the party line.

    I am a rational, free-thinking individual, and graduate scientist. Let me ask you please to explain to us what, actually is the scientific/intellectual basis for socialism??? When you think about your response you will find that it is primarily emotional, not rational. You will then become aggressive (another emotion) because you think you are being ridiculed. Then, if you are not completely brainwashed and not too upset and angry, you will look, as I require as a scientist, for even the tiniest scintilla of evidence throughout the entire known history of the human race for where there can be found a crumb of support for the childish fantasy of socialism. Sadly for both of us your search will be a failure.

    Sorry the truth is that even the most emotionally resonant ideology ever dreamt of cannot last exposure to the human race. Get over it!

  • Comment number 6.

    Jesus was homeless and when he was preaching didn't work?

    HEAVENS-STAR:JESUS DOESN'T GET WELFARE BENEFITS IN UK - REFUSED! DWP Nails him. If you are not able to work then I am sorry we will not be able to provide you with universal benefits. Jesus doesn't get benefits in UK....

    Jesus says praise David Cameron let them starve and be homeless. Our New Saviour David Cameron, you too to go the Conservative Club. Might let you on the lawn, but please wash your feet, beforehand we play croquet in the afternoons.

  • Comment number 7.

    Sorry everyone, I too dream of a utopiainst global civilization, the only civilization that could ever deliver anything approaching our expectations.So many!!!Goodbye.

  • Comment number 8.

    5 TMR

    `I am a rational, free-thinking individual, and graduate scientist. Let me ask you please to explain to us what, actually is the scientific/intellectual basis for socialism???'

    What scientific or intellectual basis is there for being a rational, free-thinking individual? Furthermore, what has the fact that you are a graduate scientist got to do with it?

  • Comment number 9.


    I worked in science al my life. The more qualifications they have, the more erratic their behaviour.

    Does that help?

  • Comment number 10.

    6 barrie

    I take the point entirely. I am always amused when the rational fail to understand that it is culture that defines. There is no such thing as being value-free. This is confusing aspiration with the harsh reality that we are all sinners, as Gerry Adams would put it.

    Original Sin and the Fall of Man are two very exciting concepts not that I accept them as historical truths but as metaphors for the human condition they are ideal.

  • Comment number 11.

    "What scientific or intellectual basis is there for being a rational, free-thinking individual?"

    The thing about science is that it is not only INTERESTING (unlike politics which is just an endlessly repeating litany of genetically hardwired human primitive failings) but also requires those who would add to its vast knowledge base the need to supply EVIDENCE in support of their offerings.

    A mentally retarded narcissist psychopath without a single academic qualification can become the Prime Minister of this country, but to be a scientist you have to have an appropriate degree that at least offers to the rest of us some hope that the individual in question might not be yet another serially incompetent imbecile with a primordial lust for power.

    As I said above, there is no ideology, political, philosophical, or religious, that can withstand exposure to our species. We are simply too primitive, and history endlessly shows it always ends the same way. Maybe before the final encroachment of the expanding sun another more advanced species will get a chance to be what we can never be. I hope so because at least the knowledge that they were not the first will help them succeed. Perhaps that is all that we are capable of being, a warning to others of how to get everything completely and utterly wrong!

  • Comment number 12.

    most scientists are socialists, that is why so many do not want their work to hold a patent, they prefer mankind to take the credit but TMR would not understand what I am talking about.....

  • Comment number 13.


    I am not entirely sure that TMR knows what he is talking about, but here goes.


    I think you will find the doctrine of Original Sin as postulated by the Roman Catholic church a suitable place to start your evaluation as it is clear that humanity is not perfectable.

    I entirely agree that scientific measurement and evaluation is of immense value but it has to exist within a moral construct otherwise we will end up messing around within our own DNA.

    The mental condition of our leaders is always a matter for observation and measurement. Might I refer you to William Godwin's Political Justice, an excellent work more than two hundred years old now, which postulates that if truth and justice were applied to all political decisions over time politics would necessarily abolish itself. The problem is all the lying that goes on but then that's people, even some scientists I am sorry to say.

  • Comment number 14.

    "Prejudices are what fools use for reason.”, Voltaire

    Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them.
    Albert Einstein.

    A Rally For The Homeless
    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

    -Lazarus, Emma

    Ideology and Science, measure, measure, measure you say. Surely, you should say understand, understand, understand.

  • Comment number 15.

    Put a 50% tax on all but-to-let property sold unless the landlord agrees to cap their rent to the local authority level for 10 years. The government is more than willing to wield the stick when it comes to public services and benefits, so in this age of austerity why let the landlords off scot free? After all they're not businesses and most of them are paying about £40 a month on their mortgages because of the rock bottom interest rates. If they don't sign up then you get the money at a time when money is tight, and if they do then rents are kept affordable at a difficult time for the economy. Win win.
    The cutting of the social housing budget is nothing short of a disgrace, where was that in any manifesto? More so when you consider the amount of money being borrowed and printed in order to 'stabilise' the housing market.
    I think the government wants to turn any remaining affordable housing into nothing more than glorified hostels, because while it remains it is an accusatory finger pointing out the unaffordable state of British housing today, and how much better things used to be. Better to get rid of it all together then people can forget about it and get used to the ever rising 'housing market'.

  • Comment number 16.

    My Aunty said something rude about the team your one is fighting, too.

    One up from 'slam'. I believe we may even be into 'blasts' territory.

    Dead juicy. And she used to be pretty big in the party. No need for a 'has learned' here. Real horse's mouth stuff.

    Thing is, she's insisting she gets referred to as 'a senior source'.

    Sure that won't be a problem.

    Will it?

  • Comment number 17.

    Great piece by Kelvin MacKenzie in today's Sun.

    Did you really say that watching the beeb last Friday and Saturday was strike breaking?

    I've never been prouder to be a scab!

  • Comment number 18.

    12. "most scientists are socialists, that is why so many do not want their work to hold a patent, they prefer mankind to take the credit but TMR would not understand what I am talking about....."

    Yes I wouldn't understand what you in particular are talking about! You make a ridiculous statement that most scientists are socialists when you can have no idea whether that is true or not. Perhaps most scientists are Chinese and thus live in or originate from a so called socialist country but it is pure invention to suggest that makes them socialists.

    The statement all scientists on this planet are human IS believable and because they are human they are capable of being paradoxical, inconsistent and self-contradictory as per scientists who are Christians, Muslims, and even socialists. However when they put their scientist head on they are constrained in what they accept as real or true by the essential requirement for evidence or proof.

    The truth is that there is no proof that socialism is anything other than a mainly emotional over-reaction to the injustice and human exploitation that occurred during the industrial revolution. At best it is an attempt to reinvent the human race in the pursuit of an impossible ideal. No wonder it leads to oppression, nepotism and state tyranny.

  • Comment number 19.

    TMR....your prejudice confirms your ignorance....

  • Comment number 20.

    Your curt message confirms you wished only to call me ignorant and prejudiced. There do you feel better now?

    I assume that everyone you disagree with is both ignorant and prejudiced in your opinion. You must truly be the custodian of all the wisdom and righteousness in the universes.

    Forgive me I am not worthy...

  • Comment number 21.

    I was once, having read Paul Foot's book on why you should be a socialist, a paid up member of the Socialist Workers Party. This was back in the 70s when I was at university studying to become a veterinary surgeon. On a Saturday during that time I attended an all day symposium on socialism. Engels claimed that the emancipation of the individual was one of the key goals of socialism. During the Q and A I asked the professor if he thought Engels statement of intent had been achieved in any socialist country thus far. His reluctant answer was negative as of course it had to be.

    The Left is indignant and furious now. But while all the rest of us are looking hard at the part we all had to play in the economic downfall of our once great nation is it too much to ask that the Left take a moment to reflect on their global naivety in particular, and the inevitable part historians will record they played in the final and currently inevitable downfall of our economy and all that goes with it.


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