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Government should be coming down on banks and not landlords

The government’s proposed capping of rents has been tried unsuccessfully in several other jurisdictions in the past, without solving the housing problem. It was tried in Italy in the 1970s but later abandoned because the net result was a drop in the amount of housing available as landlords exited the market.

It is unlikely our experience here will be much different, and as a famous man once said ‘stupidity is the inability to learn from experience’.

One of the causes of today’s homelessness crisis is the number of repossessions of family homes by banks. Where were the government proposals to cap mortgage interest rates; especially at a time when banks were trying to trick people off tracker mortgages and charging variable rates far in excess of ECB levels (as they still are)?

Perhaps if the government had capped variable interest rates by legislation in line with the tracker mortgages, some of today’s homelessness crisis could have been avoided in the first place.

If they can do it to landlords, surely they can do it to banks? If the government’s listening, there’s still time. But then, unlike the banks, the country’s landlords do not have the government by the short and curlies.

Nick Folley





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