Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Much ado.....?

How many people have bought their council home recently?

Anyone following recent political debate in Wales would think it was a pressing issue, with the Assembly Government keen to acquire the power to suspend the right to buy to help tackle a shortage of affordable housing.

The issue has fuelled an increasingly angry row between some politicians in Wales and Westminster. A compromise - offering a UK Cabinet Minister a veto before the power is exercised - has poured more oil on troubled waters.

MPs on the Commons Welsh Affairs Committee today issued a statement distancing themselves from the inclusion of the veto. They say it was included after negotiations between WAG and the Wales Office.

This may be a row over a power that isn't used and a veto that isn't exercised.

So why the fuss? This graph shows that right-to-buy sales have slumped to a five-year low, from 1,500 in early 2004 to just 32 in the last three months of 2008.

Yes, according to WAG's own figures, only 32 homes were sold under the right-to-buy across the whole of Wales between October and December 2008 - 11 a month.

As the graph's two blue lines fall away, an invisible (red and green?) line reflecting political activity soars from left to right.

You can read more about the figures here.

1 comment:

Welsh Ramblings said...

You're missing the point. As new council house building takes place, more could be sold off. Yes, all the best has now been sold off, but without the ability to prevent the sell-off of new housing stock, building new social housing is less effective.