Passionate about people, networking, politics & travel. Travelling extensively & blogging about it, plus my reflections & insights on what's happening in the World! Background, expert in delivering strategic change. Executive/consultant/coach/researcher/author. Retired mainstream but still happy to share expertise.
Has David Cameron suggested to his parents or inlaws that they downsize to make way for less fortunate & continue working after retirement?
Cheers Alf – OK and keeping busy! Anyone interested may well want to look at the powers that Councils have to trace money from the sale of assets and recoup it. It makes HMRC look like they have their hands tied behind their backs. If people think that sale and gift, or equity release etc. is an easy option to avoid your assets being taken, think again! Many people are astounded by the way in which Councils can act, even before they were given ‘Al Capone’ powers back in 2009. As Messrs Cameron and Osborne have shown, trusts are the way to deal with it, especially a protective property trust via a will if you are both still alive.
Answering the question that you asked John, of course they don’t think this applies to the ‘priveliged classes’ – just read Alan Clark’s diaries to see where the mindset is. However, they may get a surpise when the middle classes wake up and start using the trust vehicle that the wealthy have been using for years, and then what happens? Legislate – I think not, if IR35 has taught us anything about politicians trying to keep the hoi poloi away from a business vehicle that wealthy have used to avoid tax in the past. The squeezed middle will soon becom the squeezed bottom end!
How’s the travel going – is it broadening the mind, or as it does when I do it, broadening the wasteband?
Barry, many thanks for sharing that additional information.
I too think that the middle classes are being squeezed like never before. Sooner or later Conservative MPs will see the penny drop – that they are likely to lose traditional Tory voters in droves come the next election. It’s about time that back benchers started flexing their muscles before it’s too late.
My travels are due to start properly in April. I need to go on a diet before April:)
This is for many elderly people gratuitous advice because they may already have assisted their offspring via the “bank of mum and dad” and will not have the equity or spare capital to enable them to downsize.
Those people who are well heeled or who live abroad or have private income, capital or are engaged in business, buy to let, interim work or portfolio careers will do as they like and those with enough equity to perform equity release via a reverse mortgage (assuming they qualify), will do so.
The rest, who are in council houses, which they do not own, housing association property and Development Corporation property of the type which exists in Stevenage, Harlow in Essex, Milton Keynes, Telford, the issue is academic, unless the local authority forces downsizing as is already happening in the London Borough of Barnet.
The issue here is multifaceted and what the Government is proposing does not deal with the real issues:
1) There is a housing shortage of 5.5 million homes excluding the 4.5 million illegal immigrants who were let in under the last Labour Government when people like former Home Office Minister David Blunkett said on record that he could see”No logical upper limit to the UK population.”
2) This country is grossly overpopulated and there is nothing the Government can legally do about it as long as long as we stay in the EC.
At the end of World War 2 the UK’s population, even after the carnage of war, was 40 million people. A study commissioned in secret in 1953 by Harold MacMillan, using Government acturaries and scientists concluded the optimum population was 25 million with a maximum upper range of 35 million.
By that time there were in excess of 40 million, people so a deal was done in secret with the Australian Government which needed more people to grow the economy, to sell off the surplus British population for £2695 per head (men, woman and children).
The public were never told about this payment but were told about the “Assisted Migration Programme”, whereby the £10 each provided they stayed in their new country.
The official population is 61.5 million but we know from the notes and coins in circulation and the amount of food sold in supermarkets that the real population is 4.5 million more for a grand total of 66 million.
Of these, far too many represent a dead weight cost to the taxpayer and include the unemployed, the economically inactive, the incapacitated, the sanctioned and a growing army of Adult Social Care recipients,
carers and social workers.
3)Successive Governments have tried to force students into degree courses and vocational qualifications of dubious validity or use to potential employers.
As a result of this and the move of much of our manufacturing to the Far East the UK has too few skilled Tradespeople(plumbers, bricklayers, carpenters, plasterers, groundworkers).
This shortage led the previous Government to bring in construction workers from Poland to address a shortage of 400,000 construction workers and a shortage of NHS dentists. So as not to alarm the public, the Government pretended that only 13,000 Poles would come, as Poland became an EC accession country.
Infact 1 million came, driving the housing shortage from 4.4 million under “Predict and Provide” to 5.4 million units.
Although 1/2 million Poles left the UK they have been replaced by other Eastern Europeans
The illegal immigrants were deliberately brought in to undertake work that the indigenous population refuses to do long before the Raytheon devised “E Borders Programme” tried to bolt the stable door after the entire stock of horses had left.
4)There is a chronic shortage of mortgage finance so even if the houses were built there is no money to fund their purchase and too many people(1 in 6) are not creditworthy enough to access funds at affordable /standard rates.
5)Councils are no longer building houses and Housing Associations are not doing so either.
6)The private rented sector is mistreated by HMRC who will not allow repairs to unrentable properties to be written off against future earnings, calling expenditure of this kind “betterment”.
A businessman who repaired or refurbished an office prior to conducting business would be able to write off these expenses or the costs of acqiring company cars in subsequent, relevant tax years.
This short sighted approach by HMRC, politicians and civil servants reduces the amount of available housing that elderly people could downsize into and is pushing up rents and the Housing Benefit bill.
7)Cheaper building methods such as ICF forms and the IKEA house for £10,000 gbp in kit form are not encouraged either by mortgage lenders, banks, general insurers or the Government and local authorities create delays and expense with long winded planning applications so that these methods are rarely used.
8)Local Authorities waste so much money that they are unable to bring enough of their empty housing stock back into use fast enough to make a real difference and in the case of Liverpool City Council, possibly one of the least efficient councils in the country, charges more for refurbishment than the value of the house.
This as evidenced by £85,000 two up two down terraced properties within it”s remit which took the council £110,000 gbp to refurbish.
Arguments about the number of bedrooms do not hold water because most homeowners do not want lodgers under the room to let scheme and most of these bedrooms are in the NorthEast where most people do not want to live.
So until these issues are dealt with, there will be very little downsizing and the housing shotage will get worse.
Thanks for your detailed response.
I do not necessarily disagree with your response but my concern is more focused, concerning David Cameron’s beliefs and motivation.
As a lifelong Tory supporter, I struggle to recognize David Cameron as a Tory. To be candid, I am saddened that David Davies MP failed to win the lead of the Conservative Party and is now on the back benches.
For me, David Cameron and his policy advisors seem to be opportunistic, rather than policy or ideals driven. This is all very sad.
Returning to the treatment of the elderly, so are we to assume that the Conservative Party don’t really mean that their advice should apply to the privileged classes, as well?
Hi Alf – I suspect not, as most of the assets are held in a blind discretionary trust. We’re all in this together.
Hi Barry, hope that you are well? I think that you may be right!