Thatcher legacy

So the Tories are going back to Thatcherism with the sale of housing association properties 
in England at 70 per cent discount to tenants, in a desperate attempt to capture working-class votes.

I well remember the impact right to buy had on the 1979 and 1983 elections in the south-east of England.

However, what should be more widely known is that more than half the houses sold under the scheme have ended up being owned by private landlords who let them out for high rents at big profits, often subsidised by housing benefit funded by the taxpayer.

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It is also the case that both Labour and Tory governments have failed to replace the council houses sold.

The outcome is the worse 
possible result: fewer social houses, higher rents, bigger social 
security bills and more homeless people.

In the face of this failure the Tory proposal to extend the right to buy to housing associations can only make the situation worse.

Contrast this with the situation in Scotland where the SNP government has already restricted the right to buy in areas of housing need and will end it completely next year.

It has also encouraged the building of new social housing both for councils and housing associations.

This will not only help to end the housing problem in Scotland but to move us nearer European countries where there isn’t the obsession with home ownership, and renting is much more the norm.

I have spent much of my life in social housing and am very happy to live in one of the most desirable housing association areas in central Edinburgh.

I can only conclude that while the Tories are going back to the past for their housing policies Scotland is building for the future. Quite a contrast.

Hugh Kerr

Wharton Square


I am in total disagreement with the right to buy policy being suggested by David Cameron offering tenants in housing association properties up to a 70 per cent discount to buy their own home.

We saw a similar scheme under Margaret Thatcher which years later has caused chaos in social housing.

Her legacy lives on in the depleted housing stock; in some areas people have to wait up to ten years to get a social housing property.

This country needs more social housing, not less.

Hard-working people are struggling to pay excessive rent charged by private landlords with little or no chance of social housing.

This is not fair.

I cannot believe David Cameron is resurrecting one of Margaret Thatcher’s old pledges. What next? The poll tax?

Gordon Kennedy

Simpson Square