Clegg: base politics behind Right to Buy
Writing in the London Evening Standard, the former deputy prime minister speculated at why housing associations are controversially being flogged off for a discount, as he also said the Conservatives hold the outdated mantra that everyone should own their own home.
Margaret Thatcher was instrumental in transferring the state’s social housing to housing associations in the 1980s.
Clegg wrote: “Why has the new Conservative government decided to wage a war of attrition against housing associations?
“For nearly three decades housing associations have been the footsoldiers of a Thatcher-inspired drive away from state-owned housing. So why are the Conservatives now turning against organisations created in their own image?
“The answer, I fear, is base politics. A senior Conservative once asked me, genuinely perplexed, “Why are you so keen to help housing associations, they just house Labour voters?” This crude political calculation is coupled with a sincere, and in many ways admirable, belief in the virtues of home ownership.
“That is why the government’s housing announcements over Right to Buy, starter homes and so on are all aimed at helping those on the verge of home ownership but do nothing for the millions who have no chance of buying their own home.”