Housing and Planning

Corbyn proposals would be disastrous for both UK economy and living standards


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Commenting on Jeremy Corbyn’s speech to Labour Party Conference, Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“Jeremy Corbyn’s agenda would be a race to the bottom for the economy, entrepreneurship and living standards in the UK. The rhetoric of his speech – that of state ownership, economic protectionism and rent controls – amounts to a socialist agenda that pretends the 1970s never happened.

“Nationalising utilities and ending competition would lead to less supply and higher bills, hitting the pockets of the many not the few. Most of the problems associated with utilities are a result of too little liberalisation, not regulation.

“Introducing rent controls would do nothing to solve the housing crisis. Their imposition would fail to address the root problem of a lack of availability of homes and will push landlords out of the market, while encouraging more tenants to rent thus increasing demand and reducing supply. Encouraging development and scrapping restrictive planning schemes is the key to making housing affordable again, not controlling the market with a government-set price.

“Politicians should stop worrying only about inequalities in income and focus on raising living standards right across the board. Jeremy Corbyn has utterly failed to understand that government intervention has created many of the problems facing families across the UK. More of the same is precisely the wrong policy response.”

Notes to editors:

For media enquiries please contact Stephanie Lis, Director of Communications: [email protected] or 0207 799 8909 or 07766 221 268.

For more on the flaws of nationalisation, see IEA research here.

For more on flaws of price controls, see IEA research here and here.

For more on how to improve Britain’s railways, see IEA research here.

For more on inequality, see IEA research here.

Further IEA Reading: 1. The Road to Serfdom with the Intellectuals and Socialism

2. Taxation, Government Spending and Economic Growth

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems and seeks to provide analysis in order to improve the public understanding of economics.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.



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