Margaret Thatcher: Saint Or Sinner?

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  • In theory, the selling of council property to sitting tenants was a good idea. Where it fell down was that the councils, generally Labour run, failed to reinvest the income from the sale of those properties into increasing their social housing stock..

    In practice, the idea was flawed and it ended up with loads of decent people investing in and improving the houses which they bought from the council, but the councils then started moving antisocial tenants into council owned houses in the same estates. The mix was wrong, the estates became crime ridden, resulting in many people selling their houses back to the council or on the open market and moved into the private sector.

  • In theory, the selling of council property to sitting tenants was a good idea. Where it fell down was that the councils, generally Labour run, failed to reinvest the income from the sale of those properties into increasing their social housing stock..

    In practice, the idea was flawed and it ended up with loads of decent people investing in and improving the houses which they bought from the council, but the councils then started moving antisocial tenants into council owned houses in the same estates. The mix was wrong, the estates became crime ridden, resulting in many people selling their houses back to the council or on the open market and moved into the private sector.

    Well my local council has been tory run as long as I can remember and they haven't invested in building social housing with the money they made from the sell off, so it's not just labour run councils that don't. I don't think it makes much difference what party is in control as its all about what hey can get out of it for themselves regardless as it is in polotics in general.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • Well my local council has been tory run as long as I can remember and they haven't invested in building social housing with the money they made from the sell off, so it's not just labour run councils that don't. I don't think it makes much difference what party is in control as its all about what hey can get out of it for themselves regardless as it is in polotics in general.

    As I recall, councils couldn't build more housing until their debt was down to a certain level.

  • As I recall, councils couldn't build more housing until their debt was down to a certain level.

    But in the case of my local council they complete sold off every last house to a housing association and are no longer responsible for providing social housing in the area so didn't start building any.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • But in the case of my local council they complete sold off every last house to a housing association and are no longer responsible for providing social housing in the area so didn't start building any.

    Many local councils did that but the housing associations should be building social housing though with the influx of immigrants pressure is placed on all accommodation, public and private. Even back in the 50s, after a massive house building programme, there was still a queue for social housing which was ever going to be perpetuated by qualifying criteria of children count; there were only around a 50 million population, there's at least 30% more today. I'm not trying to excuse what's happened just there are a lot of factors involved.

  • Most council housing was sold off to the tenants with a massive discount. Now much of the old council housing is in the hands of private landlords being rented out or sold off privately for much higher prices. It was a nice little earner for the tenants that could afford it at the time and gave them a chance of eventually selling so they could purchase somewhere better.

    • Official Post

    It was a nice idea to gain votes and in that respect it worked.

    Yes, that is correct. But it did also ensure that instead of wasting all that money paying rent for a property they could never own, even people of relatively modest means were able to get a foot on the property ladder and eventually own a property and either sell it or pass it on to their children.


    I know there was some abuse, with landlords getting in on the act, but many ordinary people were helped by this initiative. Every scheme has its downsides, but certainly in this case, the benefits greatly outweighed the negatives.

  • Also wasn't Thatcher a friend of Saville's they used to spend Christmas together apparently, can only imagine or on reflection rather not, what party games they would play. =O

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • Yes, that is correct. But it did also ensure that instead of wasting all that money paying rent for a property they could never own, even people of relatively modest means were able to get a foot on the property ladder and eventually own a property and either sell it or pass it on to their children.


    I know there was some abuse, with landlords getting in on the act, but many ordinary people were helped by this initiative. Every scheme has its downsides, but certainly in this case, the benefits greatly outweighed the negatives.All

    I think we've already extensively discussed the effect of not re-investing the money made from these sell offs to build more council houses and the effect that has had on affordable housing stock. It was all about short term gain and I think Thatcher knew that. Of course they put a spin on it to make it look as if it was all part of some grand social programme for the benefit of ordinary people, but it wasn't. The idea was to de-regulate in order to unlock a lucrative revenue stream that would pump money into the economy.


    Some tenants made some money out of council house sell offs, but they weren't fussy about who they then sold the houses on to and as well as properties falling into the hands of spiv landlords who then charged rents far, far in excess of what councils ever charged, it created a price spiral that inflated house prices across the board exponentially throughout the 1980's, 90's and into the new millennium.


    Like all booms, it was short lived and followed by bust. Hence, why we are where we are today.

  • As said earlier, the main culprits for failing to re-invest the money from the sale of council houses was the councils themselves. Too much lobbying by minority pressure groups to grab public money for their narrow minded organisations and to hell with the decent majority. The councils wanting to be seen as ultra PC .

  • Yes, that is correct. But it did also ensure that instead of wasting all that money paying rent for a property they could never own, even people of relatively modest means were able to get a foot on the property ladder and eventually own a property and either sell it or pass it on to their children.


    I know there was some abuse, with landlords getting in on the act, but many ordinary people were helped by this initiative. Every scheme has its downsides, but certainly in this case, the benefits greatly outweighed the negatives.

    Good post !

  • As said earlier, the main culprits for failing to re-invest the money from the sale of council houses was the councils themselves

    And they are still doing it today when they want to turn rubbish removal into a business and charge extra on top of council tax either in fees or fines. I bet that money wont get reinvested back to the services.

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