To be specific, the Harolds (Macmillan/Tory and Wilson/Labour) presided over a construction rate of over 300,000 homes per year. That’s the sort of figure we need to solve today’s homeless crisis.

There’s an easier solution though. Prior to the Town and Country Planning Act the private sector produced 300,000 a year.

Get rid of the TCPA and why wouldn’t it again?

75 thoughts on “Super!”

  1. The problem is, the private sector specialises (for reasons I have never seen explained) in building Unaffordable Homes.

  2. Harold MacMillan raised housebuilding from 201k under Attlee to over 350k in just three years by “making a bonfire of controls”. One of Cameron’s few good ideas was to relax planning controls and you saw how Labour teamed up with vested interests to block it.

  3. there isn’t a “homeless crisis”. There’s a problem with buy-to-let ownership and people all wanting to live in the South East, but there’s plenty of homes.

    If you cut housing benefit to pay to live in say, Birmingham, you’d solve a large amount of the problem.

  4. How many times do I have to tell you people that house building costs are no longer the pure planning change of use from agricultural to housing ones? If the State confiscated the land from the owner for zero value and then built exactly the same houses on it the reduction in cost per house would be in the region of £15-20k. Thats purely the value of the land, that it costs the developer to buy from the landowner. All the other costs would remain exactly the same.

    All the additional costs are the costs of actually building the houses, of complying with all the myriad regulations on everything from parking spaces to cycle ways, building schools’n’hospitals etc. The State takes the biggest chunk of value created in the form of section 106 agreement costs (soon to become the Community Infrastructure Levy or CIL, but the effect is the same).

    You could issue planning permissions like confetti such that there was no premium for land with permission over agricultural land and houses would not drop by more than the £15-20k mentioned, because all the other costs are still there.

  5. @ C J Nerd

    Explanation is very simple – the private sector exists to earn a living by making a profit (since it cannot rely on the tasxpayer to bail it out), so it builds houses that sell for a price higher than all-in cost of building them.
    In fact, these houses are affordable (or, as a minimum, are believed by the banks/building societies to be affordable) to the purchasers.
    If *you* think that they are unaffordable it is solely because you are not wealthy enough to compete for housing in an area of housing shortage created by Tony Blair’s well-meaning and unworldly policies on education and immigration each of which increased housing demand by more than one million units.

  6. More homes at the unaffordable end are what we desire imv. Then everyone gets to move up the housing ladder by a rung or two, people who previously had no home come in at the bottom and we all have a better life.
    Abolition of stamp duty is needed for this to be most effective.

    Building affordable homes ( defined as needing a subsidy on rents or building ) is a cost on all taxpayers.

  7. CJ Nerd,

    No, it doesn’t. The private sector builds reasonably priced homes. It’s a competitive sector. If someone was making an eye-watering profit, someone else would undercut them.

    It’s land that’s the big cost, and that’s largely about planning restrictions.

  8. I daresay during the Harolds times it was considerably cheaper to do the actual building.
    The house my parents moved into after I was born was their first owned property, its a nice house worth about £150k today. Back then it was £4k and probably cost a couple of grand to build.
    Fast forward to now with different buyer requirements, different legal requirements.

  9. Is it too simple a solution to simply need less houses by not having quite so many imports requiring them ?

  10. The actual cost of actually building a normal (not particularly good quality) house to sell at 200k is more like 60k.

    Land and infrastructure is give or take as much again.

    Planning and social taxes are about 50k. And 30k profit to give the sale price.

    Ferdinand

  11. @Bloke in Wiltshire.

    You attempt to blame Buy to Let, yet we still have about the smallest private rental sector in Europe.

  12. CJ Nerd – any particular reason the private sector builds unaffordable homes? Don’t know about your area but around here generally when they build houses the houses get sold. So those at least are affordable.

  13. john77, Bloke in Wiltshire, Martin:

    I was making a tongue-in-cheek dig at the lefty whinge that homes can only be affordable with the aid of State meddling and/or the Magic Money Tree.

    For some reason, comrades of the Left appear to assume that these companies keep building houses that they won’t be able to sell. Because speculation.

  14. I agree 100 percent that housing benefit is a lot of the problem, I know people who have never worked and live in Islington. Giving them a house in a Welsh valley would help a lot and make Wales more diverse.

  15. Jim makes a very fair point.

    Way over here in Western Canada we just had a building code change, requiring that every household outlet circuit breaker in new builds or renos be ‘Arc Fault’. 240 volt and lighting circuits continue old style.

    An arc fault breaker costs $85.00 as opposed to an old style breaker which costs $7.00. The arc fault breakers take up two slots in the panel and so a panel 1.5 times as large is required.

    Similarly I am now required to install smoke detectors in every bedroom, every hallway, kitchen and living area and they must all be wired together.

    My costs for a small house went up about $900.00. So my customers costs went up about $1200.00.

    I have searched high and low for the rationale for making these breakers mandatory and can find nothing. All statements are that there “might” or “could” be a fire without them. I have found no numerical analysis of costs vs. benefits.

    This is one of thousands of similar items where possible safety improvements are forced on the public without any real test of their actual need.

    Don’t even get me started on being forced to provide engineering drawings for a 3 ft x 6 ft attached shed.

  16. @FredZ because big companies lobbied politicians to create new laws which somehow mean the purchase of said companies products. These big companies will also encourage more regulation which stop competition by small companies

  17. FredZ: welcome to the hell of Part P that we went through. Thankfully, a lot of it has been abolished, or is quietly ignored.

  18. @Bloke in Japan: you might get away with one house on a site for no local authority ‘contribution’, try more than one and you’ll be slapped with a big levy to cover the local amenity costs – they calculate the cost of the additional local services the houses will generate and charge you that, plus a bit more for their ‘costs’ no doubt.

    Planning has changed in the last 15-20 years, the State is now capturing far more of the planning gain for itself, either in pure cash, provision of local amenities (developers building schools, doctors surgeries, ‘low cost’ housing etc etc) or in additional regulatory requirements. Thus the return to the landowner is far less than it used to be, and as I pointed out you could compulsory purchase the land for zero value and still not knock much off the headline price of a new house.

    I have intimate knowledge of all this as some of my land is included in a large urban extension (7000 houses in total) so know the costings pretty well.

  19. Two problems with your plan Tim
    It offers insufficient opportunities for graft.
    It offers too few opportunities for self importance.

  20. Matt Wardman,

    It’s not the biggest problem, I agree, but it is growing. But it is one of 3 or 4 problems.

    The subject is also a big deal because of the focus on the South East. You can get a flat in Trowbridge for £80K, a house for £120K. OK, you don’t have opera houses and popup breakfast cafes, but it’s OK.

  21. @BiJ

    Your nephew will need about another 25-45k per house, because Scotframe will just give you an insulated envelope.

    Electrics, plumbing, gas, kitchen, bathroom, plastering, groundworks, landscaping, services, floor finishes etc.

    Plus bureaucracy costs.

    Wish you well, though.

  22. Jim>

    You seem to be missing something in your calculations, which is that if there was no planning permission it would not be necessary for developers to build ‘cycle paths’ and so-on. Those costs are the cost of planning permission, not the cost of building homes – and they used to be covered by council tax (and general taxation).

    Obviously the current system involves taxing away much of the value that is artificially created by granting planning permission, and that’s fine isofar as we don’t want to hand free money to property developers – but that councils have the ability to do that is a demonstration of the cost/value of planning permission you’re claiming doesn’t exist.

  23. provision of local amenities (developers building schools, doctors surgeries

    The future occupants pay for these things via income tax.

    Sounds like a council scam to me Jim. Do the supermarkets ask for a cut as well? The may have to bear the cost of extra customers after all.

  24. “The actual cost of actually building a normal (not particularly good quality) house to sell at 200k is more like 60k.”

    I was in an Eastern European country a few years ago–forget which one, as I traveled through several at the time–and one of the locals was telling us how they build houses. They just get the materials, stock up on food and beer, and the neighbours come round, build a one-floor house, and have a party. When they have kids, they hold another build-in, and the neighbours come around, build the second floor, and have another party. If they need space for their elderly parents later in life, they just hold another build-in and put on a third floor.

    There’s nothing that has to be particularly expensive about housing. It’s made that way by government, construction companies, and banks.

  25. Bloke in North Dorset

    Off topic.

    I’m trying to remember the name of a blog that was written by “Unity”, he was a Labour researcher but wrote some good stuff and I want to try to locate an article he wrote on how the USA got erroneously obsessed by animal fat.

    Anyone remember the name?

    Thanks.

  26. Bloke in North Dorset

    Back on topic…

    Jim @ 12:31 has a point about costs; if you wanted to build 1,000 houses round here. It would take a major infrastructure project to accommodate them. Roads would need widening and tarmacking properly, we didn’t get running water until ’56 so that system would probably need upgrading. We’re all on cesspits or bio discs, so it would probably mean building sewers and treatment plant, usw.

    0However this isn’t where the problem is, its in and around the big cities and I don’t believe they would face they same infrastructure costs if they built and extra 1,000 or more houses. The real problem there is that the middle class value the green belt more than affordable housing for their children, or more importantly children of the less well off, and fear reducing the value of their own property.

    How many of those Honk Kong style vertical villages could you build in, say, Hyde Park? You’d soon meet the housing targets if that land was given up. Ditto green belt just outside London. I often wondered what was so special about that land between Uxbridge and the M25 as I drove round the area. You could easily absorb 1,000 housing units round there and its reasonable quick in to central London. Ditto around reading, Oxford, Birmingham.

  27. All blissfully unaware of the breakdown in the Conservative Party now that their Property Owning Democracy Wevolution has come unstuck, kinda permanently. Thinking they would stay in power for ever, the Wevolutionaries arranged for houses to accumulate massive capital gains in land values (by abolishing Schedule A of income Tax in 1963 which taxed house price rises out of income ) so their supporters
    thereafter got big untaxed capital gains basically as a bribe..But who’d have thunk it? house prices have inflated so far that the second generation can’t afford the prices. Cue panic led by Sayid Javid.

  28. “house prices have inflated so far that the second generation can’t afford the prices.”

    You do realize that the massive rise in house prices happened under NuLab, right? That was when house prices around me went from easily affordable to batshit crazy.

    As for taxing capital gains on housing, that would destroy labour mobility as no-one would be able to afford to move house. It’s particularly absurd when most of those ‘gains’ are purely due to the monetary inflation that the government created.

  29. Just to point out that that government led building boom led to hundreds of thousand tower block flats all in serious danger of collapse just a decade or two later, many of which have now been demolished.

    A government run, quota driven construction program in the UK results in exactly the same outcomes as it does in the USSR.

  30. I have already told DBC Reed that I can access House Price Data in seconds to refute his ridiculous claims. The overall majority of the rise in UK house prices since thedawn of time occurred underNew Labour between 1997 and 2010. UK house prices rose by 147% (a ratio of 2.47:1) so his attempt to blame the Cponservatives for the rise in house prices is futile as well as wrong.
    If he repeats the claim again I shall call him a liar.

  31. Nice to see a mention of Uxbridge from the superb BiND. The council subsidise 4 municipal golf courses at an average of £8/round last time I checked. Quite why subsidising golf is regarded as a function of the council when the free market has got this one covered is a mystery. They should stop this, sell the courses, and let developers go ‘Hong Kong’ on the land if they are the ones paying the highest prices.

  32. jgh: Well, we’ve still got the IEE wiring regs 17th edition, which manate now a RCD or equivalent on *every* circuit. Before it used only to be socket circuits. Circuits such as for lighting didn’t need it. Also, Part P still has effect in that new wiring, rewiring or significant changes to existing installations need to be tested & signed off by a sparks with the right ticket. And houseowners need that paperwork to be in date when selling.

  33. Philip Scott Thomas

    Get rid of the TCPA and why wouldn’t it again?

    Fair enough, but haven’t we already had explanations here that climate change regulations mean there aren’t enough bricks available? And also not enough brickies?

  34. And how large are the land banks with planning permission owned by the big house building companies? Planning permission and rules are not the problems.

  35. “You seem to be missing something in your calculations, which is that if there was no planning permission it would not be necessary for developers to build ‘cycle paths’ and so-on. Those costs are the cost of planning permission, not the cost of building homes – and they used to be covered by council tax (and general taxation).”

    Well unless you proposing that developers be allowed to build houses willy nilly with no regard for the infrastructure required to support them, then yes those costs are required, regardless of whether the principle of ‘Can I build houses here?’ is always a given.

    We are talking thousands of extra houses in specific locations – this will have massive impacts on roads, sewers, water supplies, power cabling, schools, hospitals, public transport etc etc. I see no reason why those costs should be lumped on to the existing residents of an area, who indeed might in fact be outnumbered by the new houses – a small village could easily by doubled in size by additional housing developments.

    There is also the costs of building regulations – are you proposing that they be thrown out the window as well? You seem to propose a complete free for all, with no controls whatsoever on what can be built, where it can be built and with no regard for the provision of services. Let say a builder decides to build 100 houses on the edge of a village. Just turns up with diggers, starts work. 100 new families move in, but the local school has no spare places, the doctor can’t deal with the extra people, the sewerage system can’t cope, neither can the water or electric supplies, and the local roads become death traps as they’re not suited to the extra traffic. The houses are jerry built, and happen to be located in a flood plain that gets 2 feet of water the first time you get a few weeks heavy rain. The developer also cuts down loads of 100 year old oak trees, and destroys an ancient archaeological feature that no-one knew about, because they got in the way. But thats all OK, cos who needs regulations, right?

  36. “But thats all OK, cos who needs regulations, right?”

    It’s quite amazing, really, that Britain somehow managed to grow into ruling the greatest empire the world had ever seen without central planners to tell them what to do all the time. How did our ancestors ever manage to build those lovely villages without the council telling them where they could build a house, and how many?

  37. @Diogenes

    IN general not very large. Planning Permission expires after three years if development is not started.

  38. @J77
    Oh so it was Nu Labour that abolished Schedule A that taxed house price rises straight out of income in 1963? Mass bribery of electorate with guaranteed inflationary house price rises ever since.
    But now the going’s getting tricky as the next generation can’t afford to get on the “housing ladder” or unearned income for owner occupier escalator.
    Radical land taxers call the whole scam (aka Tory Party Policy) Homeownerism and are quick to point out that the other parties especially Nu Labour got on board too making the UK a one-nation Homeownerist state; there is no formal or informal opposition; day time television is an uninterrupted broadcast of Homeownerist propaganda .
    So the easily predictable bust is going to be funny because the dummies have got no alternative in readiness. I have seen reference by Liam Halligan of Telegraph, esp on television ,to taxes to make developers bring building land to market rather than land banking it: this is straight LVT propaganda .
    Tories and other Homeownerist blackguards always squirm so nicely when in trouble-and blame others- and feel sorry for themselves like Mrs Thatcher sobbing with self -pity
    when thrown out into Downing Street by Tories with some principles left.

  39. @ DBC Reed
    Firstly Schedule A taxed the imaginary rental income that homeowners were deemed to receive from themselves, not the rise in house prices. So your talking gibberish.
    Secondly the effect on house prices of the 1963 abolition of Schedule A was insignificant, except in your imagination. To claim that it was the cause of massive house price inflation forty years later but not at the time is ludicrous. Ten years later one could buy a house for a couple of thousand pounds. So there was NO guaranteed house price inflation under the Conservatives. Thirdly it wasn’t mass bribery of the electorate as in 1963 the large majority of the electorate lived in rented accommodation and were unaffected by the abolition of a tax on imaginary income.
    New Labour didn’t cause house price inflation to help homeowners – they did it by causing a massive housing shortage.

  40. “New Labour didn’t cause house price inflation to help homeowners – they did it by causing a massive housing shortage.”

    And to which one also has to ask the question “how” (did they cause a massive housing shortage).

    At which point, whatever else is part of the equation / answer, one cannot escape dealing with the issue of “net migration”. Which is fundamental to the whole discussion of house prices over the last decade and a half…

  41. Not just net migration, though New Labour’s failure to plan – or even to acknowledge likely numbers from the EU – was certainly a factor.

    Other factors were declining household sizes, and reduced building.

    We should also not forget McDoom’s constant bragging about rising household prices, and his apparent belief that this was making us all rich.

  42. How did our ancestors ever manage to build those lovely villages without the council telling them where they could build a house, and how many?

    They were built slowly. They also had very strong social sanctions about stepping out of line.

    You should be thinking instead of the inner cities slums that went up in all the main cities in the industrial era. And they were improvements on the disgustingly filthy medieval cities.

    Incidentally, regulations are not new. Cities started to prevent fires by requiring brick and tile in the late middle ages.

  43. The main and most urgent need for housing is in and around London. Taking a few hundred acres of green belt or a few municipal golf courses and building high-density housing along the lines of Singapore’s HDB* would be the solution.

    *Similar design, not actually built by the public sector.

  44. During and after the war people got other people billeted on them willy nilly.
    That’s how to do it. Stuff more people in fewer houses.
    If you all must really fill the UK with people why mess around.

  45. @Tractor Gent

    “jgh: Well, we’ve still got the IEE wiring regs 17th edition, which manate now a RCD or equivalent on *every* circuit.”

    That’s no big deal though. Just stick one or two in the consumer unit and all’s well

  46. @ Jim
    ” The houses are jerry built, and happen to be located in a flood plain that gets 2 feet of water the first time you get a few weeks heavy rain”

    The fun and games that was “Glasdir” in Rhuthun shows that even with regulations that still happens

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-east-wales-20519053

    Basically, the whole development (Built by Taylor Wimpey) is on a flood plain, with “bunds” to hold floodwater away from houses and then let it drain back. The problem was the developer hadn’t bothered clearing their drainage channels, which meant the whole site flooded

  47. @D B C Reed.

    Seriously, WTF are you talking about? Schedule A didn’t disappear until the Corporation Taxes Act 2010.

    Oh, I see, you googled something and then repeated it without understanding it. One part of Schedule A was CHANGED in 1963 but Schedule A was not abolished.

    And the taxation of imputed income which was abolished was nothing to do with taxing house price rises and a look at house price inflation shows that the abolition had no impact on house price rises.

    Sometimes I think I should educate you a bit more. Then I think no, let him carry on sounding like a politically frustrated retard. It’s funny.

  48. Building more housing on an island is just kicking the can down the road.

    Fine as a temporary solution, but no more than that.

    How long that road is will depend on how much you care about things like greenery, personal space and quality of life.

    Remainers in the SE and London apparently seem happy that the M25 becomes a car park even on a Sunday, which I find very odd. Each to their own, I suppose.

  49. “How did our ancestors ever manage to build those lovely villages without the council telling them where they could build a house, and how many?”

    Because there were only 10m people in the entire UK in 1800, thats why. And those people had less impact on the environment than todays do by a long chalk.

    If anyone could build a house anywhere then the entire UK would become like a shanty town. Existing housing stock would go to rack and ruin because who would want to spend £££ on an existing old house when you could put up a brand new sectional building on a new site for far less?

    And does this lack of building control run to developments in towns and cities too? Anyone fancy developers being able to build unregulated big buildings in towns? You only have to see what happens in China when you allow unregulated building – they often end up collapsing killing the inhabitants……

  50. @ PF
    “how”?
    Well, I gave the two largest (by numberof dwellings) reason in an earlier post – allowing mass immigration from Eastern Europe and deciding that millions (yes, literally millions) more youngdters should live away from home as students for most of the year but not building any student accommodation to house them. The third was making it more difficult to build houses by increasing bureaucracy and the amount of money sucked out the productive economy to finance a bloated public sector (which, nevertheless built fewer houses under New Labour than under the Tories); fourth was dynamiting numerous tower blocks built under Wilson’s (Old) Labour. It is, perhaps, worth noting that all the slum clearance that I have observed/heard of this century was of council estates – the BBC makes great play of alleged rogue landlords and damp caused by condensation when tenats don’t open the windows all winter, but all the ones demolished as unfit for human habitation were council-owned in London Glasgow and my old home town (probably lots of other places but I shouldn’t know about them).

  51. Jim

    The usual idea is that new residents are also new council tax payers. They also pay income tax.

    By your theory everybody already living in the village/town/city should also pay a ‘contribution’ when they become legally independent at 18. They are, after all, imposing a burden on the infrastructure.

  52. Vaguely amusing;

    Quick bit of googling found a spreadsheet on the Windsor and Maidenhead council site, where building four 4-bed houses gives a s106 charge of 113k. Changing it to 8 2-bed houses, so still 16 bedrooms, gives 160k, or 42% higher.

    Seems highly suggestive as to why developers might not be building ‘affordable homes’.

    The thought occurs that turnover of 2 bed houses would probably be higher than 4 beds.

  53. Jim>

    Your dismissal of the refutation of your claims that regulations have no cost is to list the extensive costs of regulations? Nicely done, are you a Corbynite?

  54. Apparently I’m a baby boomer as I was born in 1962.

    So I was around in the 70s. Which were crap. Strikes, 3 day weeks, power cuts and so on. Then more strikes and civil unrest in the 80s.

    Lucky me.

    I bought a house the day after my 30th birthday and 5 years later I had made £4.5k profit. wow. Again lucky me.

    I can’t help thinking the whining going on is from a group of people born in the 90s who grew up in Gordon ‘end to boom and bust’ Brown’s credit fuelled growth and thought that that was the natural way of things. Endless, harm free, one-way growth. And when that didn’t turn out to be true the whiners looked around for someone, anyone to blame. Because it wasn’t fair. Because life was supposed to be easy. That was their right.

    Well as a child of a generation whose parents saw headless corpses in the street after bombing raids, I grew up being told life wasn’t fair. Reasonable lesson to learn.

  55. Jim,

    > You could issue planning permissions like confetti such that there was no premium for land with permission over agricultural land and houses would not drop by more than the £15-20k mentioned, because all the other costs are still there.

    You’ve only described the primary market. Most house sales are secondary.

    > We are talking thousands of extra houses in specific locations – this will have massive impacts on roads, sewers, water supplies, power cabling, schools, hospitals, public transport etc etc. I see no reason why those costs should be lumped on to the existing residents of an area, who indeed might in fact be outnumbered by the new houses

    The new houses will contain taxpayers, who are exactly the people who will use the infrastructure. Or, if they don’t contain taxpayers, the infrastructure won’t be required.

    > The houses are jerry built, and happen to be located in a flood plain that gets 2 feet of water the first time you get a few weeks heavy rain.

    Wow, that’s a bad example. That already happens, right now, and has done for many years — with the building regulations that you claim prevent it.

    > Existing housing stock would go to rack and ruin because who would want to spend £££ on an existing old house when you could put up a brand new sectional building on a new site for far less?

    Have you ever met any humans?

  56. “The new houses will contain taxpayers, who are exactly the people who will use the infrastructure. Or, if they don’t contain taxpayers, the infrastructure won’t be required.”

    Whoah, hold up there S2. What if they move welfare junkies, of the working- or middle-class type in? They don’t generate taxes in any meaningful sense. But they sure as sandwiches use infrastructure and services.

  57. @ Andrew C
    You’re a dozen years too young to be a baby boomer. We were born in the aftermath of WWII and we’re now mostly retired or heading that way (slowly in my case).
    Apart from that, a good point, well made.

  58. @Dave: I never said regulations have no cost, where do you get that from? I said that the pure planning cost of building homes is relatively low, its the non planning regulatory costs that drive them up – the environmental protection rules, the building regulations, the need for off site infrastructure, the cost of providing for the local services the new inhabitants will need, all of these are the factors that drive house prices up, and that will keep house prices up regardless of how many thousands of acres are given the green light in pure planning terms.

    Unless all those regulations are removed as well (and I can see there being no likelihood of them so being) then just bringing more land forward for development will not result in a drop in house prices by any appreciable amount.

    Every local authority could identify thousands of acres that it would be minded to grant permission planning permission on (indeed Local Plans are exactly that), and that would still not mean houses would drop in price, because of all the non-planning costs that apply to building houses. The non planning costs are such that if the overall market price for houses were to drop all that would happen is that developers refuse to build more houses – if they did they’d be losing money on each one sold. There could be hundreds of acres of land in an area, all with full permission but no-one could build anything because the costs were too high to make a profit. Indeed that is exactly the case in my local authority – there are several hundred acres of land that are allocated for development, have been for over a decade now, that have a permission in place, but because of various financial reasons related to the amount of infrastructure required no developer can make money at the current house price level. So it sits undeveloped.

    Get it?

  59. No, not quite, US baby boomer is taken to be immediately post war. UK baby boomer includes such striplings as myself at 53 years old now. ‘Coz the boom happened later….

  60. Bloke in North Dorset

    Jim,

    “You only have to see what happens in China when you allow unregulated building – they often end up collapsing killing the inhabitants”

    China has regulations, but corruption trumps those regulations.

    I also think you need to consider rural areas differently to urban areas where the real problems lie. I don’t the infrastructure problems are anywhere near as bad as you are making out in and around big cities.

  61. Bloke in North Dorset

    Andrew C,

    “Apparently I’m a baby boomer as I was born in 1962.

    So I was around in the 70s. Which were crap. Strikes, 3 day weeks, power cuts and so on. Then more strikes and civil unrest in the 80s.”

    I was born in ’56 and the ’70s were my formative years politically and yes they were shit. Inflation was so bad that at one point as a young soldier we got monthly pay rises which didn’t even cover he increases in prices.

    It was also the decade of terrorists, not just IRA but worldwide. I’ve just been watching CNN’s The Seventies episode on it and I’d forgotten how widespread it was, including an Italian PM being kidnapped and murdered.

    And the there was OPEC and constant fuel shortages.

    Jeez, we need to make the snowflakes sit through those programs.

  62. @ Andrew C
    Wikipedia is inventing an American definition of an English phrase which, as usual, gets it wrong. The baby boom occurred partly because so large a proportion of young men were in the army from 1939 to mid-40s (demob took a couple of years) and they got on with creating families when they got home – it’s basically cramming 9 years of babies for those enlisted into 5 (those unfit or in reserved occupations also had fewer babies during the war but the effect was much less marked). The USA had a far smaller %age in uniform for far less time so the effect was less marked.
    If you can dig out UK birth rates for 1940-60, (sorry I don’t have them at my fingertips fifty years later) you’ll see what I mean.

  63. @ Tim
    The UK baby boom happened in 1946. I can remember that they had to build (or convert from other use) extra classrooms to cope with the much larger (or more numerous) classes in my year and the next.

  64. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-32706545

    Developer willing to pay around £500k an acre for that lot. As agricultural land it’s probably worth less than a 20th of that. The numbers in the article suggest the developer wants to put 10 units an acre on it ( match boxes! ). So difference per unit caused simply by the designation could be £45k or so. Imv of course.

  65. @ Andrew and Tim,
    Looking for the data to quote I ran into this wikipedia entry “In the United Kingdom After a short baby boom immediately after the war peaking in 1946, the United Kingdom experienced a second baby boom during the 1960s, with a peak in births in 1964,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post%E2%80%93World_War_II_baby_boom
    So, it is because I am using a different definition (the original one I grew up with before you were born) that I disagreed with you. You are, naturally, using the definition created after you were born but before you started to read which must, from your point of view be correct, but since there was a major dip lasting from 1950 to 1960 I consider you to belong to a different boom.

  66. > What if they move welfare junkies, of the working- or middle-class type in? They don’t generate taxes in any meaningful sense. But they sure as sandwiches use infrastructure and services.

    Well, yes, but I thought we were discussing the costs to private developers. If you start applying any of these arguments to “social” housing, the whole thing just gets silly. What, the council needs houses, so it gets a private developer in to build them, then makes the developer jump through hoops to get planning permission, charges them for the planning permission, and charges them even more to pay for the local infrastructure that the council are going to be forced to provide in order to accommodate the developer’s plans? Then the amount they pay the developer for the houses includes all the extra costs they made the developer pay them, plus a margin on top?

    Just because that is the way it’s done, doesn’t mean any of it makes sense.

    Jim,

    > the cost of providing for the local services the new inhabitants will need

    The new inhabitants have moved from somewhere else. So government in one bit of the country faces an increased cost while government in another bit of the country faces an approximately matching decrease. Or would face a decrease if they were willing to let go of the state-sector conviction that all budgets must always increase no matter what.

    The same applies to Cynic’s point about welfare net recipients: they’ve come from somewhere else: their effect on the budget is roughly equal and opposite to their effect on another budget somewhere.

    Seriously, “A hundred people have moved from Wolverhampton to Peterborough! HOW WILL WE EVER AFFORD THIS?” It’s asinine.

    I note Tesco don’t face the same problem. “More customers have arrived in this town! HOW WILL WE EVER AFFORD THIS?”

    Have any of these councils who can’t afford to build roads sacked any diversity coordinators yet?

  67. Yep, but that’s not how state budgets work, as you’ve pointed out. Likewise the last thing they’ll get rid of will be the useless employees.

    And what if the welfare junkies didn’t come from this country? Then there isn’t a decrease elsewhere to compensate. I don’t think you took that into account.

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