So David Cameron chose a newspaper that rhymes with nail, to reveal his ideas. But did he hit it on the head?

The ideas Mr Cameron presented seemed to match the wishes of the ‘Daily Mail’ readership pretty much head on, except for one. It was a good idea, but not necessarily good for ‘Mail’ readers.

This is what he said: “A familiar cry goes up.  ‘Yes we want more housing; but no to every development – and not in my back yard.’ The nations we’re competing against don’t stand for this kind of paralysis and neither must we.”

He continued: “Frankly, I am frustrated by the hoops you have to jump through to get anything done – and I come back to Parliament more determined than ever to cut through the dither that holds this country back.”

And so he called to make it easier to get planning regulations through, and to see building on green belt land. That would help free up supply, all right.

Of course, some say he just needs to change rules relating to turning commercial property into residential. Or to do something about all those properties sitting empty.

And that brings us to squatting, which is something else that is in the news. The arguments for and against are pretty clear cut. Against squatting, it is a kind of theft and on occasions can cruelly penalise people who are perhaps trying to raise money to fund the renovation of their new home. In favour of squatting… well there are 750,000 homes in the UK sitting empty, and that is just wrong

Actually, the problem of empty property can be solved another way, via the imposition of a land tax. And if you see this as another attempt to get taxes up, by all means use the proceeds to cut other taxes, such as employers’ NIS. The snag with such a tax is that it may be what the UK needs, but may not be that suitable for readers of papers that rhyme with bail and buttress.

And by the way, another way to help would be to give owner occupiers and buy-to-let investors equal tax treatment and do away with the ability to offset interest on buy–to–let mortgages against tax.

House prices – the danger of leverage

UK versus US house prices: overpriced and over here

Are UK house prices justified by low supply? 

Stop dithering and squatting

©2012 Investment and Business News.

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© Investment & Business News 2013