A Brexit Nation – Just what have we become?

As our NHS crumbles before our very eyes, as social care for the old and the vulnerable crumbles with it, as our world gets dangerously more warm by the day, the national debate (as presented to us by the press) often seems to be about far, far less pressing issues.

The colour of our next passport, whether we should recommission the Royal Yacht Britannia, the troubles of TV’s Bake Off and how we can keep out anyone from the UK particularly if they have anything but white skin and can’t speak the Queen’s English.

Without doubt the UK is taking leave of it senses and its priorities seem utterly bizarre.

The Tories will see off the NHS (which depends heavily on doctors and nurses from across the world simply to function) soon just by starving it of the funds and staff it so desperately needs. They will push the costs of health care by default (and social care for the elderly and vulnerable in particular) onto families. This is happening now, it will be worse tomorrow and next week, etc. etc. Is this not a pressing crisis?

Our world is getting dangerously warm whilst we fiddle around the edges not really getting to grips with what needs to be done to save our plant for future generations. Is this not a major crisis?

It really is about time we sobered up. Our all but racist society is shameful, our sitting back and watching as millions of refugees die is a national disgrace and the unwillingness to fund health and social care properly is utterly bizarre because we are quite literally shooting ourselves in the foot and we know it!

When was the last time we had a Prime Minister we could have any collective confidence in? There was a spectacularly false dawn in this regard when Tony Blair got elected because even those of us who did not vote for him thought he was about to bring about the kind of serious change the UK needed. He had his moments of course but then involved us in illegal wars that have brought terrorism to the streets of the UK. His appalling legacy far out-ways the good things he did.

But can you think of another PM of recent times that folks had any kind of collective confidence in? Wilson possibly in his early years?

Without doubt the UK is facing many a major crisis at present:-

Funding the NHS
Paying for Social Care
An over heated and dysfunctional housing market
Deeply worrying energy supply problems
Global warming
An inability to defend the Country
Racial intolerance
An aging population

And the colour of our next passport and whether the Royal Yacht Britannia is recommissioned etc. are supposedly big issues to us? How low will this once proud, caring and open-minded Country have to go before we take notice of the real troubles that are all around us?

Merseyside has 8,528 empty houses but don’t worry Sefton Council will allow even more houses to be built on high grade agricultural land!

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/8500-homes-empty-across-merseyside-10519948

Campaigners, outside Maghull Town Hall trying to save Sefton Borough's high grade agricultural land from development.

Campaigners, outside Maghull Town Hall trying to save Sefton Borough’s high grade agricultural land from development.

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above

This Echo article really brings home what the local housing crisis is all about and why building thousands of 3 and 4 bedroom houses for sale on Sefton’s Green Belt and high grade agricultural land is certainly not the answer.

What’s more Merseysiders only need a 42% pay rise to enable them to get on the housing ladder to buy the new houses that we are going to sacrifice our Green Belt and decimate some of the best agricultural land in England for.

The big gap in the Merseyside housing market is for social housing and affordable rent housing generally but hey let’s just keep building houses that Merseysiders can’t afford to buy or rent because it looks like we are addressing the housing problem when we not doing any such thing!

Renting costs more than owning

New figures from the Government’s official English Housing Survey reveal that private sector rents take up 40% of tenants’ gross income. For those who own their homes, the figure is 20%, while social tenants paid 30% of their gross income on rent. The survey also found that despite the extra cost, private tenants live in the country’s poorest-quality housing with a third of homes being in poor condition, compared with one in five of owner-occupied homes and 15% of social rented homes. Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said that the cost of renting made it harder for people to save up for a deposit to buy a house, calling it a “rent trap”.

This is the other side of the housing problem that I posted about yesterday. I am convinced that private sector rental costs are too high and that this leads to the kind of problems that Shelter are raising. A roof over your head is a necessity of life but with so many landlords using their properties as nothing more than investments to be milked many of them don’t see or want to see that they have a responsibility to maintain their housing stock and only charge reasonable rents.

With thanks to LGiU for the lead to this story.