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Home / Tim Worstall /Perhaps we shouldn’t have social housing at all?

Perhaps we shouldn’t have social housing at all?

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We think this is interesting:A Labour MP defrauded her local council out of nearly £64,000 by “dishonestly” obtaining social housing over three years, a court heard. Apsana Begum appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Wednesday charged with three counts of fraud that allegedly took place over three separate periods between 2013 and 2016.Ms Begum, who denies all charges,We have no view on the case. However, the number claimed does interest - £64,000 is real money even by local council standards.It’s a standard claim that social housing - and council housing even more so - makes a profit. There’s an excess of income over costs, this is a profit, right? Except that’s not true, this £64,000 number is correct. For this includes the opportunity costs - what else could have been done with these

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We think this is interesting:

A Labour MP defrauded her local council out of nearly £64,000 by “dishonestly” obtaining social housing over three years, a court heard.

Apsana Begum appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Wednesday charged with three counts of fraud that allegedly took place over three separate periods between 2013 and 2016.

Ms Begum, who denies all charges,

We have no view on the case. However, the number claimed does interest - £64,000 is real money even by local council standards.

It’s a standard claim that social housing - and council housing even more so - makes a profit. There’s an excess of income over costs, this is a profit, right? Except that’s not true, this £64,000 number is correct. For this includes the opportunity costs - what else could have been done with these resources? Like, here, housing someone else perhaps. Or, in the more general case housing provided at less than market price clearly leaves money on the table - exactly that difference between market price and the rent actually being charged.

That is, the entire system of social, affordable, council, housing is wildly expensive. Our proof being the claim that three years’ worth of it has this value of £64,000. Meaning that it might well be better to not have said system at all. Instead, work to lower the cost of all housing by increasing the supply.

By, say, blowing up the Town and Country Planning Act 1947 and successors?

We’d also note that if said social housing has a value of £21,000 a year then don’t we have to rather change our estimations of the wealth distribution? For currently we assign value to equity in owner occupied housing and yet value that £21,000 a year as having no value to the recipient at all. It might not be worth, to that recipient, that much but it most certainly has a value and therefore a capital value.

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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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