Rapid responses

Rental promise

[Re: Boris needs to be innovative to get the private sector building houses, Friday]
Yes, London needs more homes. But it specifically needs more affordable rental homes. With record rents being reported in the capital, it’s only by increasing rental housing stock, and building property specifically designed for long-term rent, that we will see the number of tenants grow. Now is the time for government to do everything it can to encourage institutional investment in the private rented sector. Through focused and efficient management, these long-term investors look at income returns and not the more fluid capital growth prospects of residential property. The rental sector’s time has come.

Sue Foxley, head of research at Cluttons LLP


Branson’s pickle

[Re: Sir Richard Branson should be more gracious in rail defeat, Thursday]
First Group’s takeover of Virgin’s franchise will be awful. Have you seen its performance on the route to Slough recently? My colleage takes it – it’s always delayed, hours at a time, and there were even problems again last week. Virgin has made the West Coast route heaven to travel on. I travel north often, and the trains are always on time. I’ve experienced one delay in three years. First Group will wreck the route, and ruin the lovely new Virgin trains with its horrible corporate colours. Sir Richard Branson has a right to be angry – First Group is likely to bankrupt itself with its inflated bid.

Kevin Collins


Underneath headline GDP, which is suffering as we puncture Labour’s public sector bubble, the UK economy is improving.

George Osborne is on course to borrow £11.8bn more than Alistair Darling planned. So much for austerity. But where’s it going?

Boris is right. We shouldn’t invest in business, we should invest in the means of doing business – infastructure and skills.

Finland is preparing for a break-up of the Eurozone. I wonder if anyone else is sensible enough to be doing that?