Azara Blog: Corruption in allocation of "key worker" housing

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Date published: 2006/10/15

The BBC says:

Subsidised flats meant for nurses and teachers in London are ending up in the hands of well-paid professionals and top executives, the BBC has discovered.

An investigation by the BBC's Five Live Report centred on Chelsea Bridge Wharf by the River Thames, where a two-bed luxury flat costs more than £500,000.

It found that 40% of the subsidised flats had been sold to people who were not key workers.

A probe by the UK government has found this was a problem nationwide.

According to the government's own evaluation of shared ownership schemes, one in three properties have gone to someone who could afford to buy the home on the open market.

The entire system is corrupt because the whole concept of a "key worker" is corrupt. What the government has done is try and subsidise housing for certain politically correct categories of workers, at the expense of the rest of the country, including many workers who earn less than the so-called key workers. In Cambridge, for example, many university employees earn less than teachers, and in Cambridge the former are by almost any definition just as "key" as the latter. But the government says that teachers are "key" but university employees are not. And many so-called key workers have partners who earn quite a lot of money, or have inherited a substantial amount of money, or are old enough to have accumulated a pot of money. And fundamentally, when the government throws money around in this way, corruption is bound to creep in. If the BBC is allegedly so concerned, it should point out the source of the problem, not just the result.

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