UK’s housing crisis made worse by migration – MP

UK’s housing crisis made worse by migration – MP

9:20 AM, 23rd February 2024, About 2 months ago 18

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A Tory MP has claimed that the UK’s housing crisis is being aggravated by the post-Brexit migration system which sees tenants now paying 40% of their disposable income on rent, The Times reports.

Neil O’Brien, who was the levelling-up minister until last year, conducted an analysis that showed Britain had one of the lowest homeownership rates in Europe, while also having much higher rents than the eurozone.

He said that 38% of households spent more than 40% of their disposable income on housing, compared with 25% in the eurozone.

The problem was especially severe in London, where 67% of private renters were headed by someone born abroad.

Capital’s housing stock has grown by 10.7% since 2011

Mr O’Brien noted that the capital’s housing stock has grown by 10.7% since 2011, but the proportion of Londoners who had arrived from overseas since then was 16.6%.

He said that migrants were not ‘to blame’ for the root of the problem, but their effect had worsened the housing crisis and made it more difficult for the government to solve.

He explained: “In England as a whole, the growth of the housing stock [has been] only just greater than the growth of the population accounted for by migration, putting upward pressure on housing costs.

“In London the growth of the population accounted for by migration was actually greater than the growth of the housing stock, making that upward pressure even sharper.”

Took more from the state than they paid in taxes

Mr O’Brien also reveals that a large proportion of migrants to the UK took more from the state than they paid in taxes, with only 15% coming for work.

He said that despite the new points-based migration system, very significant numbers of those who had come to the UK in the past five years had not been net taxpayers.

He cited figures showing that, even among those on skilled work visas, 68% came to jobs where the median salary for people being sponsored was less than the median earnings of full-time workers.

This did not include those working in areas such as the care sector, which he said made up a ‘huge number’ of the total.

Obtained data from HM Revenue and Customs

The MP said he had obtained data from HM Revenue and Customs using a Freedom of Information request, showing earnings by nationality.

He said that while there were more countries with citizens earning above the average, there were larger numbers of people in the UK from the countries whose citizens earn less.

Mr O’Brien told The Times: “Over the long term a large proportion of those who have come to the UK have not been net taxpayers.

“So existing residents have faced the downsides on housing and the sharing out of the capital stock between more people, without getting the upside of a net tax contribution.”

He added that he hoped his analysis would improve the quality of the debate around migration and the wider economic effects.


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Comments

richard bestic

9:40 AM, 23rd February 2024, About 2 months ago

A Tory blaming flippin' foreigners. Of course. Fourteen years in power and it's them foreigners who are at fault. Well done, Neil O'Brien, you're a credit to your Party.

Whiteskifreak Surrey

9:42 AM, 23rd February 2024, About 2 months ago

Maybe if his government did not initiate the war on private rental sector the situation would be now be better.
He is stating the obvious but not looking at the cause.
As usual.
And great hard working EU buliders have left because the lunacy of brexit, so there is a crisis in construction.

Ryan Stevens

10:00 AM, 23rd February 2024, About 2 months ago

If it is true then it is unsustainable on many fronts.

The nanny state will eventually collapse if the taxes coming in are less than the expenses going out. UK plc is already billions of pounds in debt and having to pay eyewatering amounts of interest (which of course is money that does not go towards services).

Rents will forever go up if population increases are not met by housing stock increases.

There needs to be a serious cross party discussion to agree a long term solution, but of course that will never happen.

Denise G

10:13 AM, 23rd February 2024, About 2 months ago

An object lesson in how to manipulate data!

Ryan Stevens

10:19 AM, 23rd February 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Denise G at 23/02/2024 - 10:13
I don't think it is data manipulation. You only have to look around you to see that the nanny state is collapsing, due to more demand than supply and failure of tax receipts to cover public spending demands.

You also only have to look around you to see that there is insufficient housing stock to meet demand.

However, I live near London, maybe everything in the garden is rosy where you live.

Southern Boyuk

10:40 AM, 23rd February 2024, About 2 months ago

Post Brexit, with hundreds of thousands leaving, the vacuum was filled by 4/5 million other foreigners from around the world.

Problem we have, is that in the main, immigration is not filling skilled jobs intends to be towards the lower end of the employment market and hence lower salaries/pay.

What is the housing stock may have increased over the years, data needs to be looked at how many landlords are actually selling up, and the rate of decline, looking at a continuance of this and impact on the overall housing market.

No matter what the twists and turns of immigration and government is going to screw it up and the current reform be going through, which will be enhanced by labour. We’ll see a massive problem. Sadly the financial burden of this and removing tenants will be born by landlords.

For one to start sending off this year, my portfolio and continue over the next couple of years

northern landlord

11:58 AM, 23rd February 2024, About 2 months ago

Mr O’Brien’s statements seem to be at odds with the Government who tell us that migrants make a positive input to the economy. The widely held beliefs among the public that migrants do not put more money into the economy than they take out and that wages are being driven down by migration seems to be proven if the following statements in the article are verifiable.
“Over the long term a large proportion of those who have come to the UK have not been net taxpayers” and “even among those on skilled work visas, 68% came to jobs where the median salary for people being sponsored was less than the median earnings of full-time [indigenous?] workers”
Migration is popular with business as it lowers their costs and improves profitability so essentially the rich get richer at the expense of the poorer.
I have long believed that Governments have allowed the Country to be sold off and moved overseas decimating our manufacturing base and our ability to be self-sufficient. It seems policy that the UK will become a low wage unskilled economy to attract overseas manufacturers. Could we eventually end up becoming subsistence workers living in poor conditions (as wages won’t support decent accommodation) for rich employers making cheap goods for former Third World economies? The trouble is, there is never a proper debate about migration. Anybody who speaks out is branded a racist and the debate is shut down.

NewYorkie

11:59 AM, 23rd February 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Whiteskifreak Surrey at 23/02/2024 - 09:42
I don't buy the argument all our trades left because of Brexit. There was nothing forcing them to leave, but I think things were so much better in their own countries, especially Poland, since they came to the UK, and they could now afford to return. Meanwhile, Blair had sacrificed our technical colleges and polytechnics in favour of universities, resulting in plenty of useless graduates, but no plumbers and electricians.

Ryan Stevens

12:07 PM, 23rd February 2024, About 2 months ago

I know a lot of immigrants and a large proportion of them send money back home e.g. to Poland, Philippines, Africa, etc.
They also tend to be lower paid workers, so not only do they pay less tax, but they also use more of our nanny state services e.g. education, NHS, benefits and so on.
So UK plc ends up with a triple whammy, our public services are being used, but not fully paid for in taxes; our housing is in crisis; and money that would be saved and used in the UK is instead being sent overseas and benefiting other countries.

Cider Drinker

22:08 PM, 23rd February 2024, About 2 months ago

It is blindingly obvious that millions of migrants will cause a housing crisis unless millions of homes are built for them.

A failure to plan for high net migration is the fault of government.

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