Azara Blog: Nurses want even more housing subsidy

Blog home page | Blog archive

Google   Bookmark and Share

Date published: 2005/06/19

The BBC says:

Nurses are being forced to quit the profession because they cannot afford to buy homes, the Royal College of Nursing has warned.

The RCN says the government's scheme to help public sector workers get onto the property ladder has failed to help thousands in places like London.

The government says its initiative, the Key Worker Living scheme, has a limited allocation of funds.

But the RCN says more money should be put into the scheme.

It also wants to see it extended outside the South East to other areas where workers currently get no help.

The Key Worker Living scheme helps workers buy homes by offering them loans of up to £50,000, or shared ownership schemes.

It is open to other public sector workers, such as police officers and teachers, but excludes nurses employed outside the NHS in private and charity sectors, as well as overseas nurses in the UK on work permits.

In its first year, the scheme helped 653 nurses in the South East onto the property ladder.

So far this year, the scheme has received 25,000 applications, of which 5,197 are completed or are at an advanced stage.

But the government has revealed that scheme's money is almost fully committed in some areas after just two months.

The RCN says nurses frustrated at not being able to afford to buy homes are having to find better paid jobs or take on extra work

Claire Cannings, the RCN's welfare officer, said the scheme was "fantastic" for the 653 nurses it had already helped.

But she added it was "over-stretched", and that it could seem "divisive and extremely unfair" for the many nurses who weren't eligible for help.

"It's very disturbing to find nurses considering leaving the profession because they can't afford their own homes," she said.

Hmmm, it is "divisive and extremely unfair" that some nurses are eligible and some are not. How about it is "divisive and extremely unfair" that nurses, and other politically correct categories of public sector workers, are eligible and nobody else is. Why should nurses (police, etc.) be given special subsidies by the State? Why are nurses considered to be "key workers" but not (just about) everybody else? In Cambridge, university employees are "key workers" but nobody gives them a break.

Of course this housing subsidy is in lieu of pay, and the government is being cheapskate by offering this subsidy instead of paying a higher salary in the first place. But government subsidy of housing specifically is extremely deleterious, it just pushes up house prices further. So this is a particularly idiotic way of increasing the pay of some nurses. Why is Gordon Brown considered to be such a great Chancellor? This subsidy is just one of his many halfwit policies which complicate the tax and benefit system and do more harm than good, and are "divisive and extremely unfair".

All material not included from other sources is copyright For further information or questions email: info [at] cambridge2000 [dot] com (replace "[at]" with "@" and "[dot]" with ".").