THERE are two important areas of our lives involving necessities which are making the rich richer, and the poor poorer.

In the Times Aug 20 this article appeared “House price growth is slowing but buying still beats renting”.

To quote: “The monthly cost of paying the interest on a new mortgage is now 62 per cent lower than renting, according to Capital Economics, a research consultancy. It found that the average monthly rent for a property was £859, compared with the £323 average monthly interest on a new mortgage.

In comparison, between 2010 and 2018, the average interest on a mortgage was 55 per cent lower than the average rent. Paying the interest on a mortgage in the 2000s was only 27 per cent cheaper than paying the rent.”

There is something profoundly wrong in this. If you are rich enough to buy a house it is cheaper than renting, and you will receive your money back on the sale of the house. However if you cannot afford to buy a house you loose the money you pay in rent. In Winchester the average cost of renting a room is from £400 to £500 a month so you lose approximately £6000 a year. This is grossly unfair on those who are not rich enough to buy a house.

The housing market is not a free market unlike say Computers, cars or clothes where you can usually buy what you can afford. The housing market is a rigged market as supply is limited by planning laws.

What is needed are stable house prices and I believe that Professor Danny Dorling of Oxford University has written a paper showing the prices in Berlin did not rise for 30 years.

With regard to transport another necessity, the figures are as grim.

A parliamentary question was asked about the cost of cars, buses and trains between 1980 and 2016. See 1

It was revealed that between 1980 and 2016 (See table below 2)

The cost of motoring including the purchase of a vehicle went down by 20%.

The cost of bus and coach fares increased by 64%

The cost of rail fares increased by 63%.

This again like the housing market is grossly unfair. Those not rich enough to buy a car and have to use buses and trains have seen their costs increase by 63% in the last 36 years.

This must have a bad effect on the whole country, and possibly explains why the Conservative vote in the European elections in May this year went down to 9%. Many do not feel they have a stake in the country.

The Conservatives did not invent these policies and to those who argue they are naturally mean, more is being spent on the NHS than ever before.

Something could be done. With regard to transport the HS2, costing £56 billion, could be scrapped and the money spent on reducing train and bus fares.

There should be a tax on the gain in house prices, it has not been earned, and the money spent of social housing.

Rupert Pitt