The Living Nightmare on your doorstep

The quickest way to kick start the British economy is to stimulate the housing market. Therefore the comments made by a business leader in the last week should be taken particularly seriously.

Steve Morgan, the founder of house builder Redrow, despite announcing sharply increased profits for the y/e 30 June 2011 of £25.3m (2010: £0.7m), called the UK planning system a “living nightmare.” His other comments included:

“Redrow spends more on planning fees than bricks.”

“If we build the housing the country requires of 250,000 a year for 25 years, then we would build on only 1% of the English land mass.”

Perhaps his most important statement was as follows:

“The outlook for the industry remains challenging, with the lack of mortgage supply and general economic uncertitude (sic) affecting what is undoubtedly a huge demand for new housing.”

One way the Coalition Government could improve the supply of mortgages is to subsidise first time buyers beyond the small scheme running at present. The funds could come from stopping the farce which is taking place within the NHS reforms.

Initially it was going to cost £1.3bn to close the PCTs and the RHAs. The latest estimate is over £3bn and rising. The third reading of the Health and Social Care Bill took place this week. It is thought the Lords may wreck it. The 2013 deadline for the introduction of new commissioning groups has been scrapped.

At the heart of the proposals is the concept of giving health professionals budget control “for the good of the patient.” Nowhere in the seven year training schedule for GPs is there any sort of business instruction. Many of the doctors I have met are pretty street wise on their own pay but whether this can translate in a success with an £80bn budget is open to doubt.

On Saturday 10 September the ‘Daily Mail’ led with a headline reading ‘Phantom patients net GPs millions’. The article exposed dishonest doctors who are claiming for patients (up to £100 each) who are not on their books. The suggestion is that there could be up to 3.5 million ‘ghost patients’ costing more than £100m annually.

These are the same people to whom Messrs Cameron, Clegg and Lansley want to give the budgets.

It is indeed a living nightmare.

1 comment for “The Living Nightmare on your doorstep

  1. 20 September, 2011 at 08:55

    ahhhhh the Housing Market.

    My favourite topic!

    I don’t disagree about the need for stimulation BUT what we need is a fair market, fair on price, fair on tax and a fair market that puts British people first. Sadly we have a market that actively encourages foreigners to bring their illgotten funds into prime London property whilst little Jonny has to buy a 4 b/r house in Teddington for $1/2m +++. With no mortgage in sight it’s laughable and even more laughable when one considers the ratio of the loan over the expected net annual earnings that many could pay out for their houses over the next 20 years. There is so much nonsense about affordable housing that actually the solution is simple. If the governement stopped worrying about house prices and let them find their natural floor and started worrying about jobs and businesses the whole saga would settle down and get sorted. A wealth tax for foreigners would help BUT again the government is convinced that these people INVEST in UK which of course they don’t. They may live in London, educate their children at Eton Group schools & Oxbridge, shop at Harrods & Harvie Nics but there is NO evidence that vast amounts of rubles or remimbi are finding their way into industry and job creativity. To conclude the property market is maybe 30-70% over-priced which is why so many 100’s of ‘000s have already departed. What point is there in chasing the property ladder when it is so loaded against British people?

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