Right to buy is waste of money

26 Sep 02
The government is spending almost as much building affordable housing as it gives away in discounts to council tenants who buy their homes under the right to buy scheme.

27 September 2002

New figures from the charity Shelter show that, since Labour came to power in 1997, tenants have received total discounts of £4.36bn. In the same period, £4.07bn was spent on new homes.

Ben Jackson, Shelter's director of external affairs, described right to buy as a 'catastrophic waste of taxpayers' money' and called for the discounts available under the scheme to be withdrawn in areas of severe housing shortages, particularly London and the Southeast.

Housing minister Lord Rooker has already indicated that the government is willing to review the future of the right to buy, which was introduced by the Conservatives in 1980.

According to the Shelter study, Time for change – reforming the right to buy, published on September 23, half of the 1.5 million council homes sold during the past 22 years have not been replaced and the amount of social housing has shrunk by 20%.


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