3.6% fall in UK construction in March, with both new work and repair & maintenance both falling by 3.6% – ONS

English: Chart of UK net migration, 1991-2008

English: Chart of UK net migration, 1991-2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ONS, the UK’s national statistical authority, reports a 3.6% fall in construction in March, with both new work and repair & maintenance both falling by 3.6%. See the data first hand, without any editorial bias.

Source: Construction output in Great Britain: Mar 2016 and Jan to Mar 2016 – Office for National Statistics

For me, this is further evidence of alarm over the risks of a Brexit. I expect that the negative economic news will accelerate quickly in the final weeks to the Brexit referendum.

Ironically, it’s shortage of housing that is driving the xenophobic supporters to favor Brexit. The simplistic assumption that foreigners will disappear and houses will become more available for the indigenous population is weak. Firstly, foreigners are needed because they have the skills that the British workers do not. Secondly, following a Brexit decision, the Brexit supporters will not want to invest in property because the market will be spiraling downwards. Thirdly, there won’t be any council or assisted housing for those on benefits because of savage emergency cuts to the UK’s budget to avoid and uncontrolled nose-dive as international confidence in the UK evaporates.


Opinion: Fergus Wilson: The landlord who wants to put 200 families out on the street – The Independent – John Gelmini

Twickenham United Kingdom

Twickenham United Kingdom (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

The issue is not with this buy to let landlord, who is trying to run a business, but with the fact that we have a housing shortage of 11.5 million houses and a rate of building new houses of 100,000 a year.

We also lack the builders and craft tradesmen to build enough houses, the mortgage finance to fund the purchases even if the houses could be built and everyone seems to have forgotten that 1 person in 6 cannot get credit on standard terms or at all.

Successive Governments keep on allowing more immigration when there are no houses to put them in and successive Governments refuse to deal with the need for systems building and the parallel need to bring local authorities, banks, centralized lenders, building societies into an agreement with firms like Hof Haus and the refurbishers of shipping containers which could be used to house Housing B enefit recipients.

The truth is less than 3% of our UK politicians and Ministers have any experience of real life or are qualified as engineers and scientists whereas the corresponding figure for Germany is that 30% of German Government ministers are scientists and engineers capable of solving problems.

I say Fergus Wilson should evict all 200 of these people and that all other landlords who can afford to do so should follow suit.

Then the politicians, particularly the vacuous Ed Miliband, will have to stop shedding crocodile tears and either start getting more houses built or finally admitting that they are powerless to act.

It is in summary, “put up or shut up time”, not time for scapegoating landlords who are providing a useful and necessary service dealing with people who are often troublesome and vexatious and who are people most readers of this blog and most Government Ministers have no knowledge of and would not want to meet in a month of Sundays.

Those who feel Fergus Wilson is being harsh should adopt a bit of the spirit of the “Good Samaritan” and if their houses are large enough let them out to benefit recipients at rents below or at least within the Government’s LHA cap.

This should apply in particular to newspaper proprietors, MPs, Local Authority CEOs, Anglican Bishops, newspaper reporters, television presenters, BBC executives, reporters,TV correspondents, interviewers and to the service directors of local authorities.

I will wager that there will be no takers only more scapegoating of this maligned landlord.

 John Gelmini

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