In May 2015 a new progressive government could take office. Following one of the most unpredictable elections in decades, it will be a huge task to set down clear priorities that can begin to restore fairness and challenge inequalities in wealth and power. The first 100 days of the next government will determine not just the immediate changes that can be achieved, but the path of future progressive reforms.
On Monday Ed Miliband outlined how Labour plans to address the crisis in private renting, with further details on the party’s 2014 policy to regulate private rents. But do Labour’s plans go far enough, and would they deliver the sort of rent controls the public now overwhelmingly support?
A key pledge in the Conservatives 2015 General Election manifesto is to extend the Right-to-Buy policy to housing associations. This comes after a period of massive budget cuts to investment in building new homes and the emergence of a crisis in housing where rents and house prices have outstripped wages.
This guide outlines the state of the housing crisis, with rents rocketing in the private sector, social housing waiting lists rapidly rising, the impact of Coalition welfare reforms and a failure to build enough affordable homes. The publication will show that by building the homes we need and protecting tenants' rights with rent controls and better regulations the crisis can be solved within a generation.
The paper draws upon existing research, together with original research, to examine the underlying causes of the housing crisis. This paper recognises that housing problems will not be solved without rebalancing the economy, reducing the demand pressure on London and the South East, and redirecting public funds to other regions and makes several recommendations to address the housing issues raised.
Over the last year, Class, Unionstogether and the Trade Union Group of MPs have collaborated on a series of regional events to discuss the living standards crisis and the steps that you think should be taken to address it. This publication is the culmination of the issues identified and the solutions proposed by those attending these regional events and interacting through social media with our #GBripoff campaign.
This paper outlines the unique role that local authorities can play and sets out a vision of how local government can be enabled to make a difference for the better. It argues for a fairer distribution of funding, for councils to borrow to build more homes, and for funding and powers to be devolved where councils are best-placed to act. It makes the case for the potential benefits of in-house services to be built into councils' operations and for local authorities to be empowered to use their procurement powers to tackle the low-wage economy and improve vital frontline services.
Addressing the argument that migrants are a drain on British resources, this Class pamphlet exposes common myths around immigration . This pamphlet addresses the fact that migrants have been used as scapegoats for a fall in living standards and shows that migrants make a positive contribution to the economy.
This paper argues that our current land economy does not serve us well. In response, it proposes a Land Value Tax for the UK. A Land Value Tax, targeted at unproductive wealth and speculation, could help deliver the house-building revolution – and the economic revival – our country desperately needs. In the end though, the proposition is simple. The few who own this land of ours should not get off tax-free while too many people cannot afford a decent home.
Universalism is once again edging up the political agenda. This underlying principle behind the welfare state has always been reviled by those who wish to see it dismantled, but more immediately concerning is a growing acceptance that in order to protect vital public services the ideal of universal coverage should be abandoned in favour of selectivity. Due to these concerns, this paper puts forward the case for universalism by examining its effects on society; the economy; taxation, redistribution and equality; and political philosophy, whilst debating, in contrast, the problems that come with selectivity.
'Tackling Squalor' was commissioned as part of the Social State series to address the Giant Evil of ‘squalor’ and propose new policy priorities for housing in 2015 Britain. This paper argues that the best way to counter the residualisation of social housing and the spatial concentration of social housing tenants is to radically increase the supply of social housing.
This paper argues that the market will fail to meet our housing challenges: the government must step in to ensure we build enough new homes, of the right sort, in the right places. The historic record shows that private house-building alone will not produce enough new homes, and furthermore a market free-for-all will not solve the country’s complex housing crisis.