From: Bob Swallow, Townhead Avenue, Settle.
RE the shortage of affordable housing to buy due to rocketing prices (The Yorkshire Post, February 8).
The present situation is a result of long past Tory policies. Way back in 1980, they brought in Right to Buy. This was for council tenants just about the best thing since sliced bread.
As a building society manager back then, I was involved in financing large numbers of these properties. Obviously it greatly depleted the stock of council houses. I make no judgement on this, it is just a fact.
The Finance Act of 1986 was the real villain of the peace. Overnight the stop/go situation of mortgage funds – a largely seasonal phenomena – was alleviated by the availability of wholesale funds. As a result, prices rocketed and have continued so to do. The major banks joined in, recklessly lending to all and sundry. We know the result of that.
In 1989, along with several dozen other managers of the Leeds Permanent (though permanent not for much longer) Building Society of a similar age, I took early retirement. Not that I wanted to, the job had changed out of all recognition and was not worth doing. For my money, the Financial Services Act was just about the worst piece of legislation ever enacted.