Thursday 28 October 2010

Slumming It In Belgravia

It is a long time since I was getting by in Central London on less than £400 a year. The accommodation was limited but clean and warm. I ate (and drank) as well as most and was out and about enjoying myself. Later when a family man in the labour market the idea of paying about £5,000 for a modest family house in one of the outer suburbs seemed a large amount of money.

So to see a rental of £400 a week quoted, amounting to £20,800 a year seems an immense figure to pay. Yet this is the “cap” and it is clear that much larger amounts are being paid to many people to allow them to live in Central London whether or not they work or indeed make any contribution to the economy.

Why and how has this come about? To those outside London it is astonishing. It is clear, if nothing else, that there has been rampant inflation in housing costs. But this is not counted as “inflation” by the Government, because they have decreed that such costs are not included in the calculations.

More to the point the funding for all this in terms of “Housing Benefit” is being paid by the taxpayer. These are now increasingly the middling and poorer classes and decreasingly the upper and richer as their tax liability is exported by them to tax havens or defrayed by their political associates because of their supreme importance to whatever it is they are supposed to be important at.

Just as Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodies who benefits from the Housing Benefit other than the people to whom it is paid out to? They benefit from having living space but do not retain the money because it is paid out to someone else. In the case of local councils or social housing associations at least we have some idea of who and what.

In the case of the private sector of one sort or another it is far from clear. What is clear is the howls of rage in certain political quarters and crossing political boundaries about the application of a “cap”. Dare I suggest that only a minority of these, if any, do not have some kind of direct or indirect interest in property holdings, valuations and rentals?

Dare I suggest that some of the rental markets in London and other urban areas are closely associated with various forms of criminal activity, money laundering and other dodgy and tax avoiding/evading rackets that prey on the taxpayer and those in need of accommodation?

Dare I suggest that some of those who howl the most and the loudest are also most aware of all these and in some cases much more closely connected than they really ought to be? Dare I suggest that a loud howler who also howls loudly about the poor underprivileged banks and bankers may have more to their personal finances that meets the eye or for that matter a keen tax accountant?

Why should the rest of the UK be funding the huge amounts of ramped up profits engendered by the mindless application of a fault ridden and fraud liable scheme that has gone badly wrong in so many places? Why should the lawful population also be subsidising some of the most criminal elements in society?

On the Left is it possible to wonder about the gerrymandering of votes recently as well. This was an accusation once made of the Right. The trouble is that the Left and Right seemed to have merged. So who is Napoleon and who is Squealer?

The poor old taxpayer hasn’t a Snowball’s chance in hell. See Orwell’s “Animal Farm”.

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