Articles by Jules Birch
Jules Birch is a freelance writer and journalist (mostly about housing and social affairs) and a regular contributor to Inside Housing, 24Housing and Guardian Housing Network (and on Twitter @jules_birch).
David Cameron and the £720,000 ‘affordable’ home
“It can be yours for a £9,000 deposit plus monthly payments of £2,444 for rent, service charge and mortgage.” Jules Birch considers what a £720,000 ‘affordable’ home says about the housing crisis.
Housing crisis? What housing crisis?
“All any housing minister can do is defend the policy and squirm in interviews. But that’s no excuse for seeming to be so out of touch with the housing crisis that so many people perceive is already happening around them.” Jules Birch reviews Kris Hopkins’ first interview as the new Housing Minister.
The bedroom tax: only fair to private tenants?
“Of all the arguments made for the bedroom tax, the most slippery is the one about it being ‘only fair to private tenants’. That should change after an all-party report published this week.” Jules Birch points out why the bedroom tax is unfair to social tenants compared to private tenants.
Never knowingly undernudged
So-called ‘John Lewis-style mutuals’ are (depending on your point of view) the future of the public sector or a euphemism for privatisation. However, the expression may have some unexpected implications for the government. Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude launched a competition today to find a commercial partner for the government’s Behavioural Insights Team – or Nudge Unit. […]
The rise of the property-owning plutocracy
“A rising proportion of the population are locked out of home ownership and young people without access to parental help are trapped in renting. Meanwhile property wealth and all the other social advantages that flow from it are concentrated in the hands of existing owners…” Jules Birch argues that a property-owning plutocracy is emerging in the housing market.
Accounting for the new self-employed
A report out today [6th February] from the ONS confirms the big increase in self-employment in the UK seen since the start of the Global Financial Crisis. As a result of the recessions that triggered, the number of employees fell by 434,000 between 2008 and 2012. In complete contrast, the number of self-employed people rose by 367,000 […]