Mark Field wrote a thoughtful piece about home ownership yesterday but worryingly missed some very obvious political points alongside more practical ones.
The fact is that British people want to own their own home. Polling shows, time after time, that the percentage of people who see ownership as the preferable tenure is unchanged, and in fact recently rising (CML poll in September this year, 85% people hope to home-owners in the next decade). That wish is rooted in aspiration and personal responsibility, two key tenets of the Conservatism, and it also reflects an utterly rational human desire – providing security for your family.
Young people – as described in The Jilted Generation and the The Pinch – are currently angry at all manner of Coalition policies (Winter Fuel Payments for all is a surprisingly sore subject) that seem to be aimed at them. They are not going to take kindly to a home-owning (I confess this is an assumption) Tory MP telling them that they will not have the same chance to own their own home in the future.*
- Would Mark Field have been happy to raise his children in a rented property, one month from being thrown out at the whim of his landlord?
- Would he be happy paying rent every month that outstrips the mortgage payments on the same property?
- If he lived in London/South East how much would he be able to save for the future, for retirement, for rainy day while renting and living on the average salary?