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Does this Government suffer from inertia?

(46 Posts)
GranddadBrian Sat 09-May-20 13:45:25

I would like an answer to a simple question why do so many older people follow like sheep an uncaring Government inertia?

Todate the Government has almost ignored the fact that over 4.3 million homes in England do not meet basic standards of decency, it is also deeply worrying because of the presence of a many serious hazards to their occupants’ health or safety.?

Around half of these homes are headed by someone aged 55 and over. That in the UK according to a report from Ageing Better, households headed by someone over 75 are disproportionately likely to be living in a poor-quality home, and the problem has worsened in recent years for this age group.

The largest number of these homes is among owner-occupiers, with so many facing financial or practical barriers to maintaining their home. Meanwhile 20% of all homes in the private rented sector are of extremely poor-quality, yet landlords demand high rents, greed seems to come before residents health needs.

The report states NHS spends an estimated £513 million on first-year treatment costs alone for over 55s living in the poorest housing, that is an incredible burden on NHS funding, as well as the Nations health, why is Gov inertia prevailing?

One of the major causes of death and injury amongst older people are falls in the home, while cold, damp wet homes exacerbate a range of health problems including arthritis, COPD, and asthma, and increase the risk of an acute episode like a stroke or heart attack. Incredibly, we witnessed that during the harsh winter of 2017/18, with in-excess of 49,000 winter deaths, 1,000’s blamed on these substandard houses.

Yet, the Gov are still ignoring the need for action to prevent a recurrence, that for me is crazy political incompetence and stupidity on the electorate parts for also ignoring such political inertia, how can any Government and electorate ignore such an incredible high number of winter deaths,

During this time of national crisis, the importance of safe, warm and accessible housing has been brought into sharp relief. Poor-quality housing has been shown to cause or exacerbate a number of physical and mental health conditions, lead to financial insecurity and restrict people’s ability to participate in everyday activities inside and outside the home.

It is of vital importance that everyone is able to live in a home that enables them to achieve a good later life. We could almost overnight kick start our economy if we had a Government that would put the Nations needs before political dogma, and older people stopped supporting them like sheep, particularly when such political inertia is allowed to take a priority over expediting action to improve the quality of life for so many of our peer group who are living in such miserable unhealthy housing conditions. Conditions we know that could as mentioned earlier, exacerbate a range of health problems including arthritis, COPD, and asthma, and increase the risk of an acute episode like a stroke or heart attack. As a nation we cannot allow the 49,000+ Winter deaths to be Ignored.

Government inertia is unacceptable in my view.

is not acceptable.

Wibby Sat 09-May-20 14:20:21

A lot of older people hate change so they sit back and dont complain. When one does complain loudly no one listens and so the fight is a losing battle and pointless.

Dinahmo Sat 09-May-20 15:26:28

Completely agree with you. the current situation has been exacerbated by years of austerity and a reduction in the number of houses built.

I'm not surprised that so many of the substandard homes are owner occupied because of the costs of upkeep. However, if you were to suggest that they think about downsizing, the answer would almost certainly be no.

Several years ago, in response to an article in the Express, I suggested downsizing could (a) free up capital to be passed on to children or grand children and (b) could improve the quality of life. The response I received was "how dare you tell us what to do"

Cuts in council staff have reduced the numbers of housing officers to check on rental houses and councils do not have sufficiently large budgets for legal fees to enforce any orders for repair/renovation that they make. An overhaul of the laws relating to rental property is long overdue.

Oldwoman70 Sat 09-May-20 15:58:52

I would love to downsize - unfortunately the only properties being built in my city are for student accommodation. All other properties are too large or too expensive so I am stuck in a house which is too big for my needs

Oldwoman70 Sat 09-May-20 16:00:10

I should add the city is run by a Labour council who rarely give planning permission for anything other than student accommodation

AGAA4 Sat 09-May-20 16:12:47

I was living in a very old cottage. It was damp and made my asthma worse. Every year there was some big expense for roof repairs, burst pipes etc.

I could only see the situation getting worse so I sold it and bought a newly renovated flat. Now I am in my 70s I am so glad I have a warm, dry home with little maintenance.

It also freed up a 4 bedroom property for a family, who were young enough to do all the repairs needed.

AGAA4 Sat 09-May-20 16:15:27

I do realise that not everyone can sell and councils have little money for repairs these days and may only get worse with the Covid situation.

GrannyGravy13 Sat 09-May-20 16:44:55

If you are fortunate enough to own your own home it’s your responsibility to upkeep it or sell it and move. It is nothing to do with he government or council.

Private landlords / housing associations should abide by the housing laws and guidelines.

lemongrove Sat 09-May-20 17:30:20

Absolutely GG13 the state of your own home is up to you.

Jane10 Sat 09-May-20 17:34:59

Are you expecting 'the government' to inspect people's homes and tell them to get them in a better condition? Or send in teams of workmen?

oscaro11 Sat 09-May-20 17:35:14

I don’t think any home owner would approach the council for help for its upkeep. Agree with others that the state of any home is up to those who live in it.

Smileless2012 Sat 09-May-20 17:40:50

I agree with GG13, lemongrove and Jane. The upkeep of the property you own is your responsibility not the government's.

GranddadBrian Sat 09-May-20 18:48:47

So if your income is so low through no fault of your own , you must continue to live in substandard housing possibly dying from pneumonia, instead of being eligible for a grant. Gosh,! we really do live in a Selfish society, It’s bugger you I am alright. I pray you never fall on hard times, none of us know what tomorrow brings. Any compassion seems to have gone out of the window, as a Christian I would ask you to reflect on your reasoning.

Dinahmo Sat 09-May-20 19:21:27

I don't think anybody has suggested that council officers, or any other authority, should inspect owner occupied houses. Their state is down to the owner. However, I do recall when social housing stock was first sold off the new owners asking the councils to carry out repairs. They had no idea that having bought a property they were responsible for its upkeep.

Jane10 Sat 09-May-20 19:44:54

I've done home visits to places that didn't seem in great condition to me but the occupiers were quite happy. Looks like the older people were happy with the standards of yesteryear and today's modern expectations didn't seem relevant to them.
No smugness from me. I've tried to move people to what seemed to me to be better homes but been given short shrift.

Wiltshiregran Sat 09-May-20 19:50:16

Well said Sir, it is incredible how Jane10 and Smileleess 2012 are trying to defend the indefensible that 49,000 life's were lost mainly due to appalling sub-housing draughty wet and cold conditions. They may have mistake by following Maggie Thatcher advice to buy their homes , but that is no reason to expect them to spend the last few years of their lives in appalling unfit for living conditions, because a Tory Gov does not care. If u believe it was their own fault then God help you, for your lack of compassion by obviously denying them to be given grants for repairs.
I am beginning to get frightened by such extreme Tory views,
is this the post Brexit Uk?

Jane10 Sat 09-May-20 20:39:58

For goodness sake Wiltshiregran- my comments are based solely on actual practical experience not any political viewpoint. How about considering the personal preferences of people other than yourself? It's not possible to impose specific housing standards on people who don't necessarily want them.

lemongrove Sat 09-May-20 21:53:44

If you own your own home, then repairs are down to you.If you are living on a state pension only, with perhaps a few state top ups, you may be eligible for some help for essential work from your council, ( and you have no savings.)I don’t know, but it could be found out if you needed to.However, if you own a house, you would be advised no doubt, to sell it and buy a flat with the proceeds.
If you live in a council house (rented) then the council do any repairs.If you live in rented private property, the landlord is supposed to carry out repairs ( some will, others won’t.) If really bad, you would have to find other rented property.
The Citizens Advice Bureau can assist you with info and practical help.

JenniferEccles Sat 09-May-20 22:50:09

We are fortunate to live in a country with the most fantastic opportunities to improve our standard of living by our own efforts.

There are many ways for the unskilled to gain qualifications to make them a more attractive proposition to future employers.

As others have pointed out our homes are our responsibility to properly maintain and to blame the government is quite frankly laughable.

We own a property which we rent out and there are strict regulations in place to ensure such houses are safe and in a good condition.

If our property was below standard, quite simply it wouldn’t have rented.

GranddadBrian Sat 09-May-20 23:18:17

I would recommend those who believe we have decent standards to deal with substandard housing and rogue landlord read the Kings Trust report, Age UK, Jos Rowntree Foundation, Ageing Better just for starters. Then Care & Repair England. Also I notice you have expressed no concern about the huge loss of life in the cold winter of 2017/18 is that to be ignored. 49,000+ does not seem to bother Some of those better off.

MayBee70 Sat 09-May-20 23:53:25

It's not just substandard housing that is a concern. I've been doing a lot of thinking tonight about the current situation and having an unhealthy population is exacerbating the virus problem. Bad nutrition, bad housing, pollution etc etc is all playing a part. We've got this summer to try to turn this around. When children go back to school in September they need to do so in the best state of health possible. Remember when children used to come over from Chernobyl to get some clean air to boost their immune system and I believe it helped greatly. We need to look at every aspect of peoples lives because, as they say, we're only as strong as the weakest member of society. There are now people terrified of being thrown out of their rented accommodation. Some people struggling to have access to fresh food [the cost of which seems to be going up and will probably carry on doing so]. We need to look at everyone, every age every situation and think of what we can do to improve things. Sorry GranddadBrian; I've gone off on one haven't I? Just thinking out loud really blush.

Cindersdad Sun 10-May-20 07:46:21

I agree with most of posts here and admit that my observation about my shortcomings are down to me and my wife. As my username suggests were are cat lovers, though I accept that life without a feline would be better my wife insists that she could not survive without one. The garden and house are not as well maintained as some though cursed with much clutter. I would love to downsize but again my wife wants a garden though she does not garden. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has to compromise over judgement.

As for government inertia we seem to have drifted into an almost Presidential system having to wait for the PM to announce things, the PM appears to be contolled by Dominic Cummings, the ERG and putting party over country. I do despair that government rarely admits or learns from mistakes. They are getting more and more out of their depth. With COVID they can say it's not their fault but their handling of it is. It also let's them off the Brexit hook which was their fault 100%.

Jane10 Sun 10-May-20 08:17:15

Of course. Absolutely everything is down to 'government inertia'. We're all just puppets with no free will or responsibility. Silly me what was I thinking.
Irony alert!!

Grany Sun 10-May-20 08:27:14

I agree this government is guilty of inertia and lots more.

Coronavirus lockdown: The world reacts to Britain’s ‘incomprehensible’ response, botched testing and care home crisis

While there is sympathy for Britain’s health workers, there is disbelief that Prime Minister Boris Johnson squandered vital weeks

No country has been spared the ravaging coronavirus pandemic, but some have handled it better than others, and there is almost universal agreement amongst the world’s media that Britain’s response has been abysmal.

As Britain this week recorded the highest death rate in Europe – and the second in the world behind the US – an incredulous foreign press described the situation using colourful invective: it is “a shambles”, “a nightmare” reflecting “negligence”, “complacency” and “stupidity”.

Whitewavemark2 Sun 10-May-20 08:29:55

The essential workers are asking that the government should minimise further deaths by introducing a radical overhaul of health and safety measures in their workplace.

These workers have underpinned everything necessary to our lives during the past 2 months and will continue to do so in spite of the danger the virus possess to their lives.

The least we could do is insist that the government brings forward legislation that protects these essential and largely poorly paid workers