Housing Nightmares

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Kensington: Inner London areas are increasingly only affordable to the super-rich. Picture © Yaanch

As the housing crisis continues, and more and more ordinary people are forced to leave areas where they can no longer afford to pay the astronomical rents, we hear that at the other end of society, the mega-rich are flocking to live in London in ever-greater numbers, as it becomes their destination of choice.* Research just released (the Wealth Report  by Knight Frank) has revealed that London is now the top city in the world for so-called UHNWI’s (Ultra High Net Worth Individuals – people worth more than $30m), coming ahead of even New York and Hong Kong. Despite policies of Austerity being inflicted on the majority of the population, London’s attraction is largely due to the very favourable tax regime for very wealthy people (so much for the government’s claim that ‘we’re all in it together’). The effect of all this money coming in to the London property market is to drive prices ever-higher, forcing up rents (which have increased 10% in the last year alone), and inflicting even more financial pain on the working population, as well as making it harder for those surviving on benefits.

Maybe if the government paid more attention to the daily struggles of ordinary people, rather than providing tax breaks for its wealthy buddies, the living standards of the majority of the population of this country might actually start to improve.

For more detail on how the housing crisis is affecting this country click here.

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