If Corbyn wins the next election – it might come sooner than you think if Theresa May bungles the Bombardier crisis and the DUP pulls the rug from under her feet – we will have Corbyn and his rent controls.
As the Adam Smith Institute reminds us. ‘Putting a price ceiling on any product below the market rate causes shortages: demand outstrips supply.’
We had rent controls in the sixties. It took a little while for landlords to realise that possibly the worse thing you could was to rent out your property. Rent controls create a shortage of houses forcing the government to protect tenants from eviction otherwise they end up on the streets. Worse, protected tenancies could be passed down to children or near relatives, known as ‘expropriation without compensation’. Who would rent a house one had no prospect of getting back ? A furtive black market in dilapidated private rental houses grew up. Abuses of poor tenants were common.
The only redeeming feature was that Britain then was a homogenous society. Many people did not overstay their tenancies, and even with rent control made sure what they paid was, as far as they could manage, fair.
That is not the case now. It is a multicultural society with various ethnic groups living physically and socially apart. One set of informal rules in one group are not the same in another. Values go unshared.
Under Corbyn it will be a country without borders; for socialists like him the working class of the world knows no frontiers; a family from Mali with eight children, father and mother and a couple of aunts, will take their place at the head of the housing queue even if they only arrived two weeks ago.
Open borders and rent control are unsustainable. The more economic migrants hear about free housing and open borders on offer here the more will come. To accommodate them Labour will have to redistribute housing. The application of a mansion tax and a land tax suggested by Milliband at the last election will ensure that many pensioners will get into so much debt their houses will belong to the government on death. (Pensioners who cannot find the money will be able to postpone payment until they die. The state will either inherit the house or have first call on the residual estate – that is after the application of a confiscatory inheritance tax).
A vote for Labour will be a vote for the abolition of Britain’s modest property owning middle class, and for the extinction of Britain. There will be the very very rich, above all politics, followed by the EU apparatchiks, faceless in government cars with darkened windows, then the Diane Abbots of Labour, children educated in private schools, travelling at weekends from their discreet Islington terraces to country dachas – and then there will be the poor, getting poorer by the day.