The idiocy of Eoin Clarke

Currently, 1.7 million families are on housing waiting lists. In the meantime families survive in private rental accommodation that nets landlords profits of £31 billion per year.

Oh dearie me.

Income is not net profit, net profit is not income.

No, I don\’t know what the figures is for gross private rent paid but I think we can take a stab at it.

Private rented housing is a vital and growing part of the housing market comprising almost 14 per cent of all households, or nearly three million homes in England.

So, some 3 million properties, to reach our £31 billion we\’d need the average rent to be around £10,000 a year. Seems about right to me.

So, yes, I do feel comfortable in stating that Eoin, the cheeky wag, has just declared that gross rental income is in fact net profit to landlords.

He\’s not included any costs at all: not depreciation, not renovation, not agency fees, not even financing costs.

About par for the course really, our academic specialist in feminist history not seeming to be all that good with numbers.

By building 100,000 Co-Operative homes we argue that you could switch these families from private rental accommodation that currently costs on average £8,000 p.a. to Co-Op homes costing the dwellers half that.

Yup, that is what he\’s doing, using gross income to mean gross profit. He\’s even shown that he\’s wrong in his own numbers: the Co-Op won\’t be making a profit on this but the costs are still, to the tenants, £4,000 a year….he\’s also leaving out financing costs as his plan starts off with a grant which doesn\’t need to be financed.

This is amusing too:

In Britain we have 17 billion tonnes of coal which can be used for the Carbon Capture Storage process.

Yes, we know we\’ve got lots of coal. What we don\’t have is a CCS technology that works, making the amount of coal we have something of a redundant calculation.

11 thoughts on “The idiocy of Eoin Clarke”

  1. That 17 billion tons of coal would be put to much better use providing cheap electricity to kick-start UK wealth creation and enabling the poor to heat their homes in the coming cooling period Winters.

  2. As a private tenant (and on a feudal estate, to really get the lefties upset), it’s not a big problem.

    Yes, if planning regulations were relaxed a lot, so that prices went down, I might buy a house. But that just needs the increase in planning permission part of his plan, not the co-op part.

  3. I think I’m also right in saying that that 1.7 million families ‘on housing waiting lists’ are not homeless but people who are either in existing social housing or private rented property but want to move up/on. Which – if I’m right, and surely no one seriously thinks there are, say, 5 million homeless people in the UK – means they’re no different to 90% of the population who are hoping one day to move house.

  4. View from the Solent

    “.. coal which can be used for the Carbon Capture Storage process.”

    Hunh? Coal is primarily free carbon and solid hydrocarbons. How do you push more carbon into it?

  5. Dan, also social housing rents are lower than private ones, so there’s an incentive for some people to get on the waiting list even if their current privately rented place is fine.

    Push social housing rents up to market rent, get rid of the absurd situation where rent subsidy depends on who your landlord is rather than the tenant’s income, and some of the problem will disappear.

  6. “we have 17 billion tonnes of coal”: pity that no-one knows of an economic way of extracting most of it.

  7. Paul, what’s also lacking is the negative effect of government spending. The money to pay for those jobs he’s creating has to come from somewhere. So jobs will be lost as well as gained.

  8. His 750,000 jobs claim is also a bit weird. That’s 7.5 jobs per house built per year.

    Okay – it doesn’t take that much admin to sort out the rental. Let’s be generous and then say that the building needs to create 7 jobs per year.

    At median income (HMRC 2007 – 08 figures, all age ranges, £18,500), that means that the houses would cost, just for the workforce, well over £140k (not all employee costs are wages, etc).

  9. dearieme – “pity that no-one knows of an economic way of extracting most of it.”

    Well if the coal indistry just got a fraction of the renewables subsidy, the NUM would be in business again…

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