People often forget that prosperity is not a God-given right. Throughout most of our country’s history – and most of the world’s history – the majority of people have lived in the kind of crushing, miserable poverty that many Westerners would now find hard to imagine. .

The luxury we enjoy today was made possible by a range of slowly and sometimes painfully developed standards. One of the most important of these was the right to private property.

Yet a policy drag for Tuesday’s Queen’s Speech marked an alarming breach of the contract between citizen and state: the planned Leveling Bill.

Not only will local authorities now require commercial landlords to hold auctions of homes that have been vacant for 12 months, but they could also raise council tax for second homes not let at least 70 days a year.

The two groups involved are among the most maligned in modern Britain. Few can muster sympathy for the cartoonish greedy and callous landlord, or the out-of-touch outsiders who buy properties that could house locals, however far they are from the truth.

But whatever the political direction, the public should be horrified by the gradual erosion of property rights that these measures represent.

Many ingredients go into the recipe for economic growth, but almost all of them rely on the protection of private property.

It guarantees individuals the exclusive right to use their resources as they see fit, leading them to make largely rational decisions about their use. This translates into higher living standards for all.

The former Department for International Development spent years proselytizing the importance of property rights in developing countries and its link to economic prosperity. Although DfID is gone, the lesson remains and this government should practice what it preached.

However, the temptation to appease the Red Wallers by revitalizing high streets by artificially lowering commercial rents, or the Blue Wallers by appeasing residents frustrated that second home owners are driving up property prices, is something politicians find hard to resist.

The problem with rental auctions is that most stores are empty because there are no more viable retail businesses offering to pay rent.

Few landlords choose a situation where they have no rental income and incur costs by paying fees, maintenance and security. The rules will even be counterproductive, as in many cases they will encourage businesses to avoid renting premises on the high street in the hope of getting a better deal at the ‘auction’, leading to further empty stores for longer periods.

The plan of the empty second homes is also imperfect. Homeowners will spend the minimum amount of time there to avoid higher taxes, few or no additional homes will come on the market, and the philosophy of property rights will be further weakened.

We shouldn’t be able to do whatever we want with our property without any regard for others. Some form of planning system, for example, is justifiable.

But the restrictions are often arbitrary, bureaucratic and unnecessarily burdensome. We need light rules, which at least make sense.

Instead, Jeremy Clarkson has been refused planning permission for a larger car park at his Diddly Squat Farm store in Oxfordshire, despite cars already arriving and parking on the grounds.

Nor is it just about physical goods: businesses are also at risk. A number of fan scrutiny measures will involve outright expropriation.

The owners would be deprived of the management and deployment of their assets as a ‘preferred share’ for supporters would allow them to veto any attempt to change the club’s name, sell the stadium or join a breakaway Super League .

The recommendation to impose shadow boards would significantly hamper owners’ right to run their business. Controls on cash injections would prevent owners from funding and running their clubs according to their own judgment of what will bring success and return on investment.

This government has also shown a disturbing willingness to seize assets on the basis of a decree. Since the Ukraine crisis, it has arbitrarily frozen individuals’ assets without the need to prove a case in court.

At one point, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab even suggested confiscating the homes of supposed supporters of the Russian regime in order to house refugees.

When the dust of war settles, these gestures will be remembered by individuals based abroad and by foreign companies. Buy houses or start businesses in Britain at your own risk: our politicians can (and will) override property rights if the political climate permits.

It’s symptomatic of a government that focuses on populist tinkering in pursuit of a few votes, or favorable headlines, rather than hard choices. And the harder those choices become, the further we go into the cost of living crisis, the more distance Boris Johnson puts between himself and core conservative values.

The ministers express their will to face the housing crisis. But instead of tackling the real crux of the problem – our overly strict planning rules – they are blocking housing construction in areas of high demand and low supply.

This puts prices out of reach for locals, slows growth, creates financial instability and exacerbates economic inequality – all of which contributes to the sense of unease that turns voters away from the Party.

This can be reversed – but only if the government stops helping to destroy the principles that made Britain strong.

The UK currently ranks ninth in the world for property rights, according to the Wealth Economic Freedom Index, behind the Scandinavian countries, Austria and Luxembourg, but still ahead of Germany or the United States. United. If this is taken for granted, we may discover that our prosperity rests on shaky foundations.


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