SKETCH: Put Another Pickle In, In the Pickleodeon

Watching Eric Pickles’ Local Government Questions, the will to sketch guttered. They may be full of good intentions – and of course they may very well not – but the unintended consequences of social policy clatter away like falling dominoes.

Help to Buy doesn’t encourage house building but certainly increases the price of houses, Help to Buy makes houses Harder to Buy.

The difficulty of getting onto the housing ladder has been greatly increased by tuition fees. Graduates have to pay off debt as well as save up for a deposit.

Kicking single tenants out of two-bed council houses will increase the housing benefit bill when they get re-housed in more expensive one-bed houses.

Freezing the allowable housing benefit pushes private landlords out of the market, putting up the price of accommodation.

Three hundred several-bedroom houses in the Wirral stand empty following their single tenants’ eviction. Empty! Because no one wants to live there!

And should single council tenants in two and three bedroom houses be made to pay extra, or take in a tenant? Or is that a fascist idea, like telling people to wear a jumper when it’s cold, or saying that 70 per cent of IQ is inherited?

As Bart Simpson said when running for class president: “He says there are no easy answers. I say he’s not looking hard enough!”




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John McDonnell tells the Gallery/Lobby lunch what the priest told him to do…

‘He persuaded me to do this. He said you need to soften your image. So do Mumsnet and do this…. I’m trying to soften my image.’

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