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Housing

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 4th December 2013.

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Photo of Jackson Carlaw Jackson Carlaw Conservative

Perhaps later.

Had we been able to turn the clock back on the right to buy as though it never were, as is implied by the opprobrium heaped on it by the SNP, all those properties would still be occupied by many of the same families. The state would have financed and would still be financing overwhelming maintenance bills on ageing properties, which would all be funded by taxpayers, and all those new businesses and jobs and the wealth that arose from them would vanish from our history and economy. Scotland would be a vastly poorer country. All the nations that escaped the communist yoke after the fall of the Berlin wall in the 1980s would be laughing today, because they would have thrown over the shackles of state ownership only to see Scotland as the one country in the western world still clinging to poorly maintained, grim, state-owned and state-stultifying public housing at levels seen elsewhere in Europe only when gulags were the norm.

This is the first time that I have contributed to a housing debate and I have been listening with interest. It follows that all properties sold are usually lived in. The fact that they are now in the private sector, not the state sector, does not change the fact that they are occupied. If the people living in them were not living in them, where would they be living? In other words, whether in the state or private sector, the occupants of those houses today would still need to have a roof over their heads.