Monday 19 February 2018

Those who bought in the boom are victims, not fools

Debt forgiveness for homeowners in negative equity is not only fair, it is in everyone's interest, writes Marc Coleman

Sometimes, we really do forget the bleedin' obvious. For instance, I once spent 20 minutes looking for a badge I needed to gain access to an important press conference. I eventually found it: dangling around my neck. Stupid or what?

Gross mismanagement of the housing market caused the current recession and banking crisis. That's obvious, right? So as sure as day follows night, it's obvious that a comprehensive plan to put our housing market house in order is essential if we want to restore household balance sheets -- in the same way as bank balance sheets have been restored -- and avert a double-dip recession. So far, the penny hasn't dropped yet.

With little understanding of the size, scale or urgency of the task -- nor of the gains if the right decisions are taken -- past and previous governments have dithered and dallied on the housing market.

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