Brown and out

Spot on, Allister Heath [Brownonomics makes a shock return, yesterday]. The coalition’s other housing policy announcement is equally poorly thought out. It proposes to raise the discount for individuals buying their council home to 50 per cent, giving an unearned windfall to a lucky few. But this will raise only a trickle of cash. Furthermore, selling off council properties piecemeal does nothing to reduce the costs of administering the remaining stock. In fact, it adds complexity. A far better proposal would be to sell off entire council estates to consortia of pension funds and insurance companies, who need investments yielding stable income streams. The government could take the proceeds of such sales, co-invest with the consortia on new builds, and make a serious addition to the housing stock.

Mike Mitchell


Freddie Mac’s back

Brilliant, Dave. An artificial boost for the housing market.

This idea was cleverly conceived in the US thirty years ago in the form of Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and the Community Reinvestment Act.

Is Cameron an heir to the Bourbons or the Stuarts? It matters not, he will go the same way.

Godfrey Bloom, MEP and member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament