East Thanet Labour Parliamentary candidate Polly Billington: Child poverty

Polly Billington (Labour)

Children tell you truths that adults shy away from. But sometimes those truths can be heartbreaking. That is how the manager of one of our children’s centres in Thanet felt when she found one of her five year old charges stuffing free breakfast items into his pockets.

When she asked him why and tried to reassure him he could eat them there and then, he told her he was taking them home for his mum, as she often didn’t eat.

Child poverty is at a shocking new high. The number of children in the UK living in absolute poverty before the cost of housing is taken into account is now 18%. That means they and their families can’t afford the basics. This is a reality in Thanet, as the example from the children’s centre demonstrates, but I’m afraid we have a Conservative MP that denies this is a problem and a Conservative government that has contributed to it.

When the data came out almost a year ago showing that 23% of children in Thanet were living in relative poverty, Craig Mackinlay questioned whether it was serious, saying there was no “destitution”. I would suggest this is a man who prefers to split hairs than address a problem. With children hoarding food to give to their starving parents we know the reality behind the statistics. Absolute poverty – perhaps the nearest we have for Craig Mackinlay’s “destitution” – means a family doesn’t have enough income to afford necessities. We all know what it’s like as prices and costs rise, but if your income doesn’t stretch to meet the basics, that is absolute poverty. It’s a moral outrage that families experience this in one of the largest economies in the world. It’s even worse that this is increasing, and that 70% of those children are in households where adults are in work.

This doesn’t happen by accident. Since 2010 the Conservatives have deliberately chosen to make life harder for people on low pay, with children, with disabilities and with fixed incomes. Then the Tories blew a £30bn hole in the economy with Liz Truss’ mini budget, pushing up mortgage rates and rents on top of spiralling energy and food bills fuelled by inflation. With fewer protections at work, wages squeezed for years and then rising costs, more and more people are finding there is too much month left at the end of the money. Taxes are set to hit their highest rate for 70 years, with working people paying more and getting less.

When things are this tough, it would be understandable if people tightened their belts and overlooked those worse off than themselves. But here in Thanet the spirit and goodwill of people to help others is extraordinary: we see that in the initiatives that have developed over the years to meet the needs of people really struggling. It is a damning indictment that one of our food banks is more than ten years old, while the two run by churches in Broadstairs and Cliftonville handed out nearly a thousand food parcels just this last month. There should be dignity for all, not the need to ask for handouts. That is what the welfare state was built for, ensuring we make work pay and support those properly who can’t work. Children shouldn’t be hoarding food for their parents, anymore than parents should be going without food to keep their children fed.

The first people who suffer with the kind of instability we have seen are the poorest and working people. That is why a Labour government will establish economic stability, grow the economy to make working people better off, and bring security back to family finances. Never again will we allow a repeat of the devastation of Liz Truss and the Conservatives’ mini-budget that crashed the economy and left working people worse off. We will keep energy bills low by investing in home-grown cheaper cleaner energy, and increase the chances of people to have a home they can afford to rent or buy, because cheaper bills and owning your own home are the foundations of security. And we will make work pay, delivering a real living wage, because creating well-paid jobs across all parts of the country, including Thanet, will make working people better off. When Labour was last in government we reduced child poverty, by establishing Sure Start and supporting working parents. We will do it again.

As your MP, if I am elected, I will fight for economic security for those who need it. I am clear that though our food banks are a demonstration of our kindness and generosity, a welfare state we can rely on will be a source of greater pride. We as a nation should provide the support to ensure no child should ever have to go hungry or fear their parents are either.


  1. Labour have a chancellor in waiting ,who cannot balance her household bills,even with a joint income of over £200000,and another one who ,has got herself in a pickle, of where she lives.Doesn’t look good,but better than the leeches in power now

  2. If you and your party really believe in the alleviation of child poverty, why will you not abolish the two-child benefit cap? Would you personally stand up for the scrapping of this policy, or are you just going to fall in line with the leadership like a sheep? Are keeping to the fiscal rules more important than alleviating child poverty?

    • What a simpleton argument. Clearly, you have never been fired from a job, you have never had yo fold a business, etc.

      • Clearly there has to be exceptions – such as my sister, raising 6 kids on her own after her hard-working husband died in an accident.

  3. You could also stand on a policy of introducing some kind of wealth tax and also re-introducing the cap on banker’s bonuses (a cap that was lifted by Truss and Kwarteng in the first place) but Labour refuse to do either of these. It is pretty clear from these policy decisions that your party no longer cares about the redistribution of wealth in this country, which is why prominent life-long supporters like Owen Jones have now left the party.

  4. I take it that PB is in favour of scrapping the two child benefit rule and will be pressing Starmer to do the same. Child poverty is a blot on any society, particularly one that is the fifth or sixth richest in the world. Free school meals for all children in full time education, uniform grants and free bus travel for under 16s would all punch a hole in child poverty. Labour councils in parts of the country have implemented some of these. Easy to throw bricks at the appalling record of the Tory government but people will want to know what you are proposing instead!

    • As it is our taxes which have to pay for such expenditure, it should not be “for all children” as a large proportion of families can afford meals, uniforms and bus travel. It should only be for those who need it, based on family income.

    • How about free bus travel for all over 60s – instead of the age random policies in different parts of the country?

  5. Well Ms Pink, there was concessionary travel but George Osborne, remember him, jacked up pension ages and therefore concessions of all sorts were withdrawn from those who would have previously qualified for pensions and concessions.
    That is what the WASPI women are saying are you a WASPI woman?

    • That has nothing to do with free travel for over 60s in London, Scotland and Wales – and over 66 for Kent and most other English counties.

      As for the WASPI women? Labour promised a £58bn compensation package in their 2019 election manifesto. They’re now promising absolutely zero, zilch, nothing, sweet eff-all, following a recent ombudsman’s report. Or is Polly Billington claiming otherwise?

      • Jeremy Corbyn may have promised all sorts, but Labour fell to its worst defeat since 1935, so I think the electors said no.I mean £58bn are you serious! Sunak cancelled the northern arm of HS2 for less.
        I think build social homes, repairing potholes and fixing adult social care comes first in most electors minds, unless that is you are prepared to pay yet more tax.
        If you can think of a way to do all of the above and find the £58bn be my guest.

  6. Absolute poverty, relative poverty are pointless phrases without some actual numbers attached, then throwing in the curveball of “before housing costs” makes it even more elusive ( someone in social housing has an uncosted additional income of a considerable amount compared to someone having to pay the full real world cost of housing).
    Lets have some actual income figures to allow us real people to judge what these terms actually relate to.
    I have tenants fully reliant on benefits others who work part time and have top ups, none have trouble eating, keeping warm or being clothed.
    But over the years i’ve met people who’d struggle if you gave them every penny ever created.
    Assuming that families are accessing the benefits they are entitled to, is the problem one of insufficient money, or how the income is used?
    Then there are those who’d prefer to be as poor as the proverbial church mouse than actually try to improve their lot.
    Are we to throw endless sums at people to alleviate these carefully selected definitions of poverty?
    Political word games are pointless in the absence of the punds and pence reality that we’d all understand

    What is difference between absolute poverty and relative poverty?
    Absolute poverty is a state of being in which a person lacks the necessities of life, such as food, clothing, and shelter. In contrast, relative poverty is a condition in which a person’s income is insufficient to meet his or her needs when compared to others in society.

    The former makes no allowance for those that have different priorities in life. The latter throws up the comparison between need and want.

  7. Polly wouldn’t have a clue about it. Swinging off the likes of Tracey Emin and mixing with the wealth DFLS at the mayor ball recently she hasn’t a clue and has aligned herself to the wealth lefties in Margate. No clue about the people in poverty she is a joke.

  8. Not the deserving poor again.Tell me who are these real people that can adjudicate on poverty as opposed to applying their manifold prejudice. What these uncoated benefits you speak of when living in social homes.
    Britain is an unequal country where the circumstances of your birth determine how your life will be lived.
    Rishi Sunak believes that working extremely hard achieve’s the good life, and it does for him, because a combination of tenacity and a fortunate marriage has given him status and wealth,but I can show you many cases where working 24/7 will barely keep your head above water.
    It is a matter of skewed market pricing, where care workers are paid far less than bankers, even though the former has more utility than the latter.

    • I’m commenting on the use of phrases that have no real value, tell us that a 2 adult 2 child household etc. needs x to avoid relative poverty and y to avoid absolute poverty and it has some meaning and we can all relate our positions to them. Likewise with housing, where my point is that if you live in housing that’s been subsidised heavily by the state and as a result your rent is less then it has a value greater than the rent paid, as against those either renting in the private sector or who are homebuyers/owners.
      A banker may have similar “ utility” to a care worker but one needs far greater skills than the other to the extent that a tiny percentage of the population can do the job, care work is within the grasp of the vast majority in comparison , as ever supply and demand dictates the wages.
      The real odd balls in my view are football players, the masses having sufficent disposable income to be able to support teams costing billions, what utility do such players have?
      Every country is unequal, yet the UK offers everybody the chance to improve their lot, if they choose to make the most of the opportunities. Very few reach dizzying heights, but the vast majority can earn a decent living and support a family if they put the effort in.
      Many would do well to travel,a bit off the beaten track and see how many live in far flung countries , they may well then appreciate what the UK offers.

      • While I agree that certain roles in society have different values I’d say that “value” in this regard is value laden.
        I’ve been a carer and I’ve been on the receiving end of carers so I have some expertese. A banker or similar has value to the generation of profit usually seen as money.
        A carer, if they are good, has a value to the wellbeing of a human being. I know which I’d value more.
        Society does not reward those that keep it going very well.
        Grow food and the value is to the health of the nation, it nourishes us but the pay is low and the graft is high.
        Shuffle stocks, shares and futures and the product is money, you cant eat it and, if you get greedy, the market crashes wiping value from itself.
        If well being is our aim we would reward those roles that contribute to it, health and social care, education, farming, street cleaners and waste disposal, shop and hospitality staff, etc.
        But this isn’t what those in power want to prioritise. Footballers are a good example as their inflated wages have little to do with fans but more to do with investment money games, advertising brands with clubs as a vehicle.
        In our society most wealthy people didn’t graft they inherited either wealth or the influence to borrow capital and make it grow.

        • Your points all have validity but ignore the innate greed of all but very few. If the driving force of society was its well being , then people wouldn’t fill themselves with endless junk food, would exercise, not be addicted to the internet and its mindless addictive entertainment, would choose to go to work.
          But far too many have no interest in anything but themselves , for too many a life on state handputs is preferable to putting in some effort. Unfortunately we’ve created a system that allows such choices.
          The value of work is distorted by a myriad of taxes and benefits, those that save are penalised in later life if theyneed care, work hard and live in a better than average house and you’ll be hit by the wealth tax hiding under the guise of council tax that assumes that because you’ve ended up in a more expensive property you have the income to pay more tax irrespective of the services the occupants may use.
          The poll tax was a much fairer system in terms of contributing to local services.
          The nation is skint, spends way more than it raises through taxation and fiddles the books at every opportunity, each new government just as bad as the last no matter what colour the rosette.

        • The high pay of footballers doesn’t bother me at all – ditto Pop stars and actors (unless they work for the BBC), as I don’t have to contribute to their wages.

  9. As @keith verness said, we need to see what PollyB is going to do, not harp on about the appalling Tory’s – and they are appalling, and they have been since Cameron/Osbourne and Thatcher/Major before them. The sunny upland of Blair were a myth although some aspects improved our lot. Inequalities in wealth increased during Blair’s time. Blair/Brown chose not to re-regulate all the de-regulation that led us to the financial crash and the rampant asset stripping of our privatised utilities and health services, they also went along with stripping regulatory bodies and the anti-EU and anti-asylum seeker messages, not forgetting the wars (stil looking for those mass destruction weapons)!
    So, for those worrying about paying for all this PollyB might look at taxing companies effectively, not subsidising large companies, not paying countries to buy UK weapons, etc, etc.
    Also, I wonder that PollyB is brave enough to cite concern for children when she still hasn’t made any comment about her fellow Hackney Cllr’s conviction for Category A child porn! I don’t get it!

  10. I’ve voted Tory most of my life but never again. If children are going hungry, cold and worried about their parents how can they learn? We need to reverse this awful blight of poverty and Polly, you have my vote!

  11. I’m still waiting to see how Labour are going to fund all the promises and policies they are announcing.

    If they aren’t going to take it from people on benefits or pensioners then working age people who are actually working will pick up the tab.

    • No – the difference is that Labour will not give money to their rich chums.
      Government debt is at an all time high – yet our services are woefully underfunded.
      Where is THAT money going?
      It’s going on the £280m to Michelle Mine, £14bn of COVID fraud that Rishi Sunak is refusing to investigate, it’s going on £150m wasted MOD money, £1.3bn Dept of Health irregular spending.
      Labour’s plans are fully costed.
      The reason for them having to cut certain pledges is because the longer this Tory kleptocracy is in power – the less money there will be to spend where it’s needed.

      • All parties are quiet on the covid fraud, because they all supported it at the time. Chucking money at people with no checks was always going to be abused and it was. Hundreds of thousands of so called companies sprang up and pocketed the cash that will never be paid back, just as legions of former european migrants took the cash and promptly went back to their home country the 50k being a life changing bonus.
        Labour will be no more prudent with the nations finances , they’ll just mismanage in different ways. Has there ever been a labour government that has left No.10 with the nations finances in a better state than when they moved in?
        If you want to change the nations course,
        Get the nation slimmer and fitter ( that’d leave the nhs amply funded to do its job)

        Get rid of the daft notion that perfectly normal anxiety, apprehension, wariness, being shy, etc etc is a mental health issue worthy of being classed a disability

        Stop putting legions onto out of work benefits

        Stop seeing huge expenditure on internet, streaming services and gadgets as being the norm, the money would be far better spent on decent food and your hpusing.

        Drug test anyone on benefits , sanction those that fail, same for anyone arrested for any offence and make a failed test an aggravating factor.

        Have a decent criminal justice system that means that petty crime is no longer seen as a risk free lifestyle option.

        Halt the absurd levels of inward migration and get our own population back to work, we’ll never be able to spend enough on societal infrastructure to cope with the numbers we’re encouraging to come here.

        Introduce ID cards and finally determine how many people are really in the country, going to be a bit embarassing when its around 10 million more than officially accepted , but will at least show why we’re in such a mess.

    • Thanetian Blind the problem with “Labour” is its been hijacked by pseudo lefties its called “Enterism”, its no longer a Democratic Socialist party, and under Starmer its Conservative lite! They have no policies, just waffle, and repeatedly saying the mantra “Grow the Economy” means they are depending on the magic of the Free Market to put everything right! This country has been broken beyond repair by the Tories, and is spiralling down to 3rd world status.

      Labour may well win the next General Election only because they are not Conservative, thats what Blair did. The recent By-elections were lost by the Tory’s and not won by Labour, because the turnout was only around 40%, and thats what will happen again! Tory voters will sit on their hands, and Labour may win by default! The UK must join the grown up countries and bring in Proportional Representation, because more people vote against any government than for it under First Past the Post!

  12. The problem with all main political parties (including Labour) is that they stayed quiet on the implementation of highly destructive covid lockdowns, which wrecked havoc economically, educationally and for mental health across all ages. Gross hypocrisy for all political candidates to ignore this factor, and also the clear damage we now see everywhere from the highly lucrative, but toxic experimental jabs.

    • Without doubt the reaction to covid was a farce, a prime example those in charge (and population at large) wanting the easiest option rather than face a few facts. Couple that with a population that has eaten its way through excess and poor diet to become extremely fat, unhealthy and unfit, which meant there was little resilience to what was in reality a bad flu season.
      Yes there were those that seemed perfectly healthy that perished ( as some do every flu season), but that doesn’t alter the basic facts. That we’re not choosing to confront the state of the nations health just sets us up to suffer disproportionately in the future to whatever bug arrives next.
      The financial response just gave people the idea that the nation could afford to support them for doing nothing and way too many liked the idea. The negative effects compounded by a population that is transfixed by drivel supplied direct to their screens.
      The vaccines, we’ll never know if they helped or have long term issues attached, it’s not in the interest of any government around the world to say there is a problem.
      We shpuld be looking at the data regarding excess weight and increased negative effects of covid , the evidence is plain to see, but no party will address the issue as the nation does’nt want to know preferring to keep gorging itself to an early grave.

        • I agree totally: The influenza epidemic that swept the world in 1918 killed an estimated 50 million people; Covid killed an estimated 7 million. So it was nowhere near as bad.

          • It was nowhere near as bad because a) nations imposed (in the nick of time) lockdowns which prevented spread of the disease (in 1918, WW1 had ended, and millions of military personnel were on the move);
            In 2020, there was a world wide programme of effective vaccination (a hundred years earlier, although attempts were made, no suitable vaccine was available).

        • Not at all , a respiratory disease that at its core reduced the oxygen carrying capacity of the body, in reasonably fit healthy people it was of no real importance, but for the fat and unfit who’d already reduced their ability to take up and use oxygen there was no spare capacity and they dropped like flies, look at countries with low obesity rates and better diets and see how they fared in comparison to nations with higher levels of obesity.
          But as the nation is now effectively controlled at the ballot box by the fat vote , they can’t be offended and their absurd life choices have to be validated to keep them happy. No matter that they are dragging the country to its knees and during covid meant that resources were redirected to the irresponsible when they’d have been much better used to protect the elderly and frail.
          Only a matter of time before another similar malady comes along and again finds the weakest and most vulnerable in society , but none of this will make people eat less or exercise, they’ll just expect society to protect them.
          Selfish in the extreme , yet it was those who decided not to be vaccinated that were pilloried.

          So no it’s not obvious that Covid was anything but a bad flu season , to me anyway.

    • What we see from these “experimental” jabs is millions of lives saved worldwide. And countless more only suffering mild symptoms when contracting Covid.

      • How do you KNOW that? I had the jabs, but would I still be alive without them? It is impossible to know – though as I almost certainly caught my firt (and worst) bought of Covid on an Austrian trip in December 2019, the answer is almost certainly “Yes”.

        • You can’t extrapolate your personal experiences across the whole of humankind.
          For example, health professionals the world over have said that smoking is bad for us.
          Yet we all know of someone who smoked 40 Woodbines a day yet lived till they were 80. That is no argument that we should all take up smoking, in the hope of living to be octogenarian.
          Maybe you would have survived without the Covid jab. Maybe you wouldn’t.
          But the inescapable fact is that world wide, legions of people who would otherwise have died, or suffered the debilitating effects of long covid, haven’t.
          Of course, I haven’t personally examined the health (and death) records of hundreds of millions of people. But others have (Nation States’ heath authorities, the World Health Organisation and so on). And I’m perfectly happy to accept them.

          • Even over-looking the growing reports of the vaccine’s dangers, of COURSE they’re not going to suddenly say that it was a waste of time and money.

            Something that IS clear, is that overweight people were disproportionately effected by Covid – far more so than with most other illnesses. Yet we’re STILL one of the fattest countries in the world! Will people ever learn?

  13. How come that when this subject is on tv , all you get is I’m a single mother and can’t afford to feed my kids , in certain circumstances I understand but a lot of these women have themselves to blame for their situation, I know one who has three kids by three different fathers and is reaping benefits as well as working an claim from the fathers, and she goes on expensive holidays abroad, I don’t suppose she’s the only one to be doing this. Child allowance should be for one child, anymore than that is the adults fault they should know if they can afford it or not.

      • The idea is that children get the benefit, in most cases the adults spend it on themselves, so stop the handouts at one child. All this cash for child means is that some single women don’t have to work for living.

    • Ms Pink:
      “Even over-looking the growing reports of the vaccine’s dangers”
      Where are these reports? Are they credible? How do any dangers stack up against the dangers of contracting Covid?

      • I’ll leave that one to “Democrat”. He/she/they are the expert. I neither believe or disbelieve the reports (I’m keeping an open mind), but I DO think it was a ridiculous waste of money giving it to healthy (i.e. non-obese) children.

        • Whatever “Democrat” might be, he/she/it most certainly is not an expert when it comes to medical science.

  14. Errhm, back to Ms Billington, I emailed her months ago, and asked what was her position on Manston? Guess what, I’m still waiting for a reply!

    • I’m also wondering what Ms. Whitehead’s stance is on Manston, something she’s keeping uncharacteristically quiet about (that fence around the airport is going to collapse with so many people sitting on it!).

      • Yep it becomes a real quandry when roughly half of the electorate are on each side of the fence and you don’t want to alienate any of them. The wonders of politics being composed of flags rather than sign posts.
        They dare not ask Sir Kier for guidance as he’d only change his stance a day later.

      • I don’t see how the stances of Ms Whitehead nor Ms Bilington apropos Manston Airport is relevant.
        The DCO will be approved or not in due course, depending on the outcome of the JR and the determination of the SoS to push through the Order.

        • Yet you lot still rant on about Craig and Roger’s support? At least you know where you stand with these.

        • Because for some their stance may be enough to either choose to vote for them or not, as we’ve seen on here there are strong opinions either way in respect of Manston, but being flags desperate to gain any vote they can they seem to choose not to state where their view lies, if they were to be elected as MP , Manston will be an issue they will have lots of dealings with it’d be handy if the electorate knew which way they lean.
          Manston is surely in the top 10 of local issues

  15. Oh god, the covid denialist and pseudomedical experts are out in force…. Obviously none of them worked the NHS frontlines…

    • No but know plenty that do, at the time most would predict how badly someone was going to suffer from covid purely on their weight and fitness or lack there of. How many times were the pictures of people who’d died of covid more likely to have been their 10 year old online dating profile pictures than the reality at the time they were in hospital? IoTN had a prime example using what i assume was a picture provided by the family.

      Pointless opining on what may or may not have happened, what should have been done, the need or not for vaccines or who should have received them if as a nation we are not prepared to look at the whole picture and take into account the appalling situation the nation has in regard to excess weight and fitness.

      What we did was try to fix a car in a garage , spent a fortune but no one was prepared to point out there was no fuel in it.

  16. On covid, I wonder what PollyB has to say – oh, the article wasn’t about that! It wasn’t about Pinky Peter or what the others think of him either.
    What is Polly’s view on Manston, the Port, levelling-up plans, transport and parking, our depressed high streets, rip-off landlords, the ever privatised NHS, the Richborough BESS,the appalling utilities, UK weapons used to further genocide in Gaza and so much more?

    • I don’t see how the stances of Ms Whitehead nor Ms Bilington apropos Manston Airport is relevant.
      The DCO will be approved or not in due course, depending on the outcome of the JR and the determination of the SoS to push through the Order.

      • Taking your question at face value – it would be useful to know PollyB’s view on Manston as this would probably give clues as to her views on other things.
        Next, if our MP, PollyB would have some influence. More so if Labour got a majority in the general election. And, if the GE is soon, the JR decision might be different but, even if the same, the Secretary of State might have a different view of the value of the cargo hub at our lovely arse-end of Kent. We might get a government that took heed of the expert opinion it commissioned!

        • The outcome of the JR won’t depend on the particular government in power, because it’s a legal decision, made by a judge considering points of law.
          Whether or not the DCO is granted is a different kettle of fish – it’s clearly a political decision.

          • I’m accepting that even judges are influenced by politics and wanting to please or annoy government.

  17. In her maildrop (which I recently received), Polly Billington writes:
    My five pledges to get Thanet’s future back are:
    1. Getting more GPs and dentists here in Thanet.
    2. Delivering free breakfast clubs in every primary school.
    3. Helping high streets in each town with more police and backing small businesses.
    4. Ending the sewage scandal, make the bosses pay.
    5. Regulating Airbnb and holiday lets.

    I would like to know:
    1. How she intends getting more doctors and dentists to Thanet when
    (a) there is a national shortage
    (b) the GP and dental practices have been trying to do this for years and so how does she think she is going to succeed when they have bee unable to do so?

    2. This is the topic of this article but very few comments have actually been on this matter. My opinion is above.

    3. What is the point in encouraging small businesses into the high streets if the local people don’t want to go there to shop. High Streets are never going to be as they were in the past with the trend for years having been for large stores to be in retail parks, ie Westwood Cross. I can go there, park for free and go to all the stores I want.
    I support high streets being made smaller and empty retail premises being converted to residential.

    4. This is another nationwide, not just local scandal. Also stop shareholders being paid dividends.

    5. Yes, this needs to be done. Also make them pay business rates as many don’t.

    I would like Polly and all other local prospective candidates to say they are going to:
    – Do something to stop the amount of housing development here in Thanet and to support legislation to stop all new housing on prime agricultural land.
    – To support legislation which make solar panels mandatory on on all new buildings (commercial & residential) and have limits on how much land can be used by solar farms, and again, not on prime agricultural land.
    – To support legislation fining those who do not attend NHS appointments.
    – To ensure all new builds have sufficient parking spaces.
    – To stop the sale of council homes as they are needed as social housing. Or if they are sold, they are sold at market price.

    I think I will stop here as could go on until late this evening……!!

    • Difficult to do anything about airbnb / holiday lets as many are owned by couples where each partner designates a property as their principle private residence and as the labour party a currently showing that this is a perfectly acceptable way to own property and bemefit from the capital gains tax rules, quite how does PB expect to change things? Or does she disagree with that particular way of owning property?

      • I don’t think that is correct. Reading an article recently in The Telegraph about the Angela Rayner tax fiasco, it states:
        “If you are married, you can only have one principal residence for tax purposes between the two of you. Even if your individual names are on separate deeds, you cannot be considered to have one property each.”

        • There’ll be lots of challenges to that , separated couples, those that choose to live apart, discrimination in comparison to cohabiting unmarried couples, etc etc. Couples owning 2 homes ( 1 each) one being a second/holiday home in reality but on paper they own one each to make the most of the way the rules are written is very common, letting that home for some of the year to offset the cost of keeping it is just what many do.
          The announcement in the budget of changes to the rules on holiday lets etc is all a bit open to conjecture until the detail is published.
          But having filled all the small hotels with asylum seekers, reduced the number of hotels overall necause of the competition form airbnb and the like, that the likes of thanet can’t support many new hotel beds over the year along with rising hotel prices , the country risks decimating its tourist industry in many areas if it suddenly does away with the short term holiday let/ airbnb sector.
          You’ve only to look at the mess the Welsh have got themselves into, lots of people selling the holiday lets, no hotels to take up the slack, so reduced tourism and jobs in the tourism and hospitality sector lost. So more people on benefits and a depressed property market to go with reduced tourist income. Some political masterplan that is.

    • The discounts on the sale of council housing basically reflected the fact that the property has effectively a sitting tenant and as such the discounted price was the true market value. How much would you pay for a property with a sitting tennat?

        • Yes, but the property needed to be valued as if it was on the open market with a sitting tenant in order to get a valuation,

          • Because that is what the property is worth, there are no links but at the outset it was how the discounts were initially calculated, however as the years went by these were reduced partly as a way of reducing the number of sales and also to not seen to be giving too great a headline figure for the amounts notionally given.
            Look on rightnove at what ex local authority properties are worth on the open market, its usually way less than non ex authority property. One of the reasons is the amount of crime associated with social housing compared to owner occupied housing , this was the result after an foi request for statistics in the cliftonville area. Though has to be said that crime associated with care homes, childrens homes, hmo’s and halfwayhouses was much higher still.
            However there’s all the furore about right to buy but not a whisper about the social housing providers that choose to sell off older stock when it becomes vacant rather than renovate it and rehouse another family. Orbit are a prime example and effectively they now control what was a lot of TDC’s housing stock.

  18. Out-of-town shopping centres should not have free parking. People who go there by bus have to pay, unless they have a senior bus pass, so I don’t see why car drivers should have free parking. It is just a form of bribery.

    • A somewhat blinkered reply. Every car owner has to pay for their car and its running costs, buses are provided with tax payer subsidised ticket prices and free places on roads to stop in order to ply their trade, so in fact i’d guess that those using buses especially the pensioners with passes are the ones that benefit disproportionately and effectively get larger bribes ( using your terminology)

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