September 4, 2012 1 Comment
Conservative candidate for Victoria ward earlier this year, Del Thomas, has written on the subject of squatters. He has written little I agree with, and the most ourageous comment is this:
Someone was also talking about how they had heard a couple of teachers in London who squat because they cant afford London rent prices. Well i know it sounds a bit rough but if you cant afford to live somewhere – move!
Thus, from the keyboard of a Tory we now have it in black and white – key-workers on low wages should move to cheaper areas to live. Not only does this add the burden and cost of commuting to these key-workers, it strips from the expensive parts of town people essential to the well-being of that area.
However, to the issue at hand: squatting.
Now, I do have sympathy for those who own property that is squatted in, but I have more sympathy for those who are so desperate that they feel compelled to squat. My town has over a thousand empty properties, some empty for a very long time. We also know that there is a housing shortage, and that what housing there is is hideously expensive (especially for first-time buyers).
Whilst I do not advocate squatting I can fully understand why it goes on. This would not be an issue if there were no empty properties, and so rather than tackle this, the Government have sought to punish the desperate.
Empty properties are more than just a slight on the poor and dispossessed, they add to urban decay and are a magnet for the yobs and vandals, as well as often given refuge to vermin.
Much like the capping of housing benefit (which should have seen rents control instead) the Government cannot bring themselves to sort out the propertied and landlords.