MichaelCD - The Blog.

The thoughts of Michael Cadwallader. Coffee loving, history book reading, Cheshire man.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Cameron’s ‘bananas’ idea.

David Cameron has emulated his great hero Tony Blair; in the art of contradiction and playing to the audience. In a speech to be given today on social justice; he stressed the "growing inequality in housing" which, “is caused in large part by inadequate supply of homes and government policies that do not support less well off first-time buyers.” Nobody in their right mind would disagree with the first part of the statement. Due to the rise in prices and my own fairly low salary, it is unlikely that I could afford a house in the area where I was born. However, the second part of this statement is absolutely wrong.

Cameron said "the failure to provide an adequate number of new homes in Britain has contributed to the affordability problem". This is where Cameron starts going off-track. Thinking of where I live – in the suburbs - there are numerous housing developments, mainly blocks of flats within a mile of my house. If you replicate this all around the country then the question is – is the problem really a lack of housing? The truth is that house building is being driven by a massive increase in 30-something singletons, who are well off but unwilling to cramp their bachelor lifestyle, and settle down to marriage. Two people, who would in the past have to wait until marriage before buying a house, are now able to purchase a house separately. Modern me, me, me mentality and the lack of tax relief for married people has lead to us to this stage. Now I am sure that there are many people who are very happy with this situation but according to a Daily Mail report a few months ago new housing developments, has lead to 4 reservoirs in the south-east being concreted over. We have also seen building on previously off-limit flood plains. In addition to this we have to factor in every house’s water consumption:

About 150 litres a day per household, on average

Bath: 80 litres approx

Shower 30-60 litres

Dishwasher wash: 16-25 litres

Washing machine load 50-100 litres

Toilet flushing: 30-40 litres per day (From the Environment Agency).

And then, think of central heating in winter, every house has it whether there is one person or ten, living there. The environmental impact of all this is massive. David Bellamy has rightly criticised the government on this very point yet Cameron wishes to emulate this very same policy. The South East Plan blog has another point about the deterioration of the quality of life, which will happen if hundreds of thousands of new houses are built, “Who in their right mind would want to move into a house in an area that has constant water shortages and a hosepipe ban every summer?”.

The environmental impact will be huge and the loss of green belt will also lead to a decrease in the quality of life. My solution is that there needs to be massive tax-breaks for low income married couples and marriage, as an institute, needs to be vigorously promoted by the Conservatives. A trendy policy – certainly not - but for me this is the only way to stop further environmental degradation and the loss of the green belt.

With this speech, Cameron has shown – like Tony Blair – that his policies are designed solely with headlines in mind. His commitment to environmentalism is superficial and has been forgotten when the next policy idea came around. So the Labour comments about flip-flop policies is the best summary of Cameron that there can be.

Goodbye Forever!!


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