09 Jun

Fresh land laws are key to ending inequality | Letters

Rev Paul Nicolson, DBC Reed and Marion Shoard are among several readers responding to George Monbiot’s piece tackling ‘the most neglected issue in British politics’Wealthy and powerful landowners ought to visit homeless hostels in the London borough of Haringey, where single mothers sleep with their children in single rooms, some for two years or more in “temporary” accommodation with no certainty that they or their children will ever own or rent a secure affordable home of their own (Want to tackle inequality? Our land laws have to change first, 4 June). They should then visit the newly founded Christian church in a warehouse, where a whole floor is used to accommodate single homeless men at night, more and more of whom work during the day.Power has been abused. Since the big bang in the 1980s, government policy has allowed a medieval grabbing of land to the detriment of the health and wellbeing of low-income tenants. The late professor Peter Ambrose wrote in 2006: “Policy will not be decided on who needs affordable housing most … but on which policy will offend the lowest number of current house owners.” As a landowner, the Church of England is among the powerful beneficiaries of that injustice. The archbishop of Canterbury has said: “It’s time for a radical look at what enables people to live in communities, to build relationships.” In particular, it is time for the fair sharing of all the land in the UK for the common good.Rev Paul NicolsonTaxpayers Against Poverty Continue reading…

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