Libby Purves (Dec 28) calls for the problem of London’s sky-high house prices and exorbitant rents to be properly recognised. She rightly points to the stress of commuting and its impact on family life.
The first step must surely be to accept that London is not being “hollowed out”, as she puts it. Rather, the foreign-born population has been increasing at 100,000 a year since the turn of the century, to say nothing of subsequent children adding still further to our numbers. Housebuilding has not remotely kept pace so rents and prices have rocketed. As a result there has been a net outflow of some 60,000 residents leaving the city every year and new arrivals have been living in ever-more cramped conditions. The solutions lie in a truly massive house building programme or in effective control over the level of immigration, preferably both. At present there is no sign of either, but a frank discussion would be a useful start.
Lord Green of Deddington
Chairman, Migration Watch UK