Housing needs government priority

HOUSE price inflation has been causing serious problems for the British economy for the last five years as more and more people have been priced out of the market.

HOUSE price inflation has been causing serious problems for the British economy for the last five years as more and more people have been priced out of the market.

Recent interest rate rises seem to have failed to ease this pressure, and it has been clear for some time that without a painful correction house price inflation will continue to gallop away.

Building more homes is one option - but there is a limit to the number that can be built in this country.

There are extraordinary pressures facing the country as economic growth continues at present and there are no simple answers.

More and more people want to live in small households rather than sharing large homes with their families.

And there is also the inward pressure caused by the arrival of large number of EU migrants in this country.

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That is a symptom of the economic strength of this country - more and more jobs are being created and there are not enough British people willing to do them.

But the migrants need, and deserve, decent homes.

Gordon Brown has put housing policy near the top of his government's agenda - it was a difficult issue that was all but ignored during the Blair years.

However just building new homes on green field sites is not an option. The government must look at allowing some expansion of existing villages, towns, and cities without changing the character of their areas.

Grange Farm may be a good place to live - but not every town or village in Suffolk could sustain development on this scale.

The latest interest rate increase may prove to be a jolt for many families but hopefully it will also help to take some of the pressure off housing costs and make it slightly easier for people to take their first step on the property ladder.

TODAY family, friends, and colleagues were gathering to say their final farewells to the inspirational Kari Boto whose death last week shocked so many people.

The death of this outstanding humanitarian has left a massive gap in so many lives - at the school she supported with her husband Tom in Uganda, at work with the BBC World Service, and above all for her grieving family.

The thoughts of everyone will be with them today, and we hope they can find some comfort in the knowledge that Kari Boto's contribution to the world will not be forgotten.

IT'S the dream of everyone who has ever been to a jumble or car boot sale to find something for a few pennies that turns out to be a golden nugget.

For Chris Couch this dream came true when he looked behind a framed photo of Dusty Springfield he had bought to find a signed picture of the Fab Four.

He now has a unique piece of rock 'n' roll history . . . or, put another way, a valuable item to place in Ebay if things get tough!

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