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TOP TRENDING BILLS

OTHER BILLS

ARGUMENTS FOR

This Bill will make concrete steps towards solving the housing shortage. Extending the right-to-buy scheme will open up the dream of home ownership to social housing tenants and reward working families. The Bill will utilise profits from the sale of expensive council house properties to increase the amount of affordable housing stock available. It has been argued that nearly a fifth of the 4 million properties let to social tenants in England are worth more than comparable houses in the same area. Building starter homes will help younger people gain a place on the housing ladder in an increasingly competitive market. In freeing up brownfield land, the bill will also put otherwise wasted land to good use.  In addition, the Right to Build scheme will give tenants autonomy over their individual housing needs. All in all, this Bill will tackle the housing crisis and allow the Conservatives to establish themselves as the party of home ownership.

ARGUMENTS AGAINST

The extension of right-to-buy does not directly address the chronic housing shortage. While it helps the fortunate minority who are already in housing association homes, it does nothing for the eleven million private renters who are desperate to buy property. Whilst the Bill promises to build one new affordable home for every top-tier expensive property the council privatises, this does not match up financially. Selling off property in expensive areas to build in cheaper, poorer areas leads to segregation. The original policy of right-to-buy, initiated by Thatcher in 1980, resulted in one third of all homes sold under it, falling into the hands of private landlords who then let the properties out at significantly higher rents. What’s more, even though 26,185 houses have been sold through right-to-buy since 2012, only 2,712 replacements have since been built. At a time when the social housing waiting list is over 3 million people, this populist taxpayer giveaway simply sells off some of the last affordable houses rather than addressing the root causes of the housing crisis.

ARGUMENTS FOR

This Bill will take concrete steps to crackdown on undocumented migrants. In recognising that it long been too easy to work illegally here, it will make working in the UK without working documentation a criminal act. What’s more, forcing people to appeal after deportation will stop migrants abusing the system and outstaying their welcome. The Bill will also prioritise British workers, encouraging sectors that have become saturated by migrant workers to employ and train British workers instead. Clamping down on exploitation by naming and shaming those businesses that employ illegal immigrants will also ensure businesses don’t exploit cheap labour from overseas. In taking a zero tolerance approach to illegal immigrants, this bill will introduce a series of concrete, hands-on measures that ensure asylum seekers cannot abuse our services. In doing so, it will put the needs and interests of Britons over and above those of immigrants.

ARGUMENTS AGAINST

In criminalising the labour completed by undocumented migrants, the Bill will drive illegal working underground and make it increasingly hard for corrupt bosses to be found out. While the bill claims it will crackdown on exploitation, it is impossible to confront the exploitation of workers if you remove all of their rights. Undocumented migrants are far less likely to report their exploitative employer to the authorities if they know they are liable to receive a criminal charge. In turn, unscrupulous employers will continue to use illegal immigrants as a source of cheap labour and illegal immigrants will continue to endure rock-bottom wages and abusive treatment. In making it harder for illegal immigrants to access key services, the bill will require housing associations, landlords, GPs and banks to act as proxy immigration officers – this will create a target-driven culture of suspicion, discrimination and intolerance across the public sector. 

ARGUMENTS FOR

Proponents say the Bill takes the recommendations of the Smith Commission, which received cross party consensus. The devolution of powers is a reflection of the SNP landslide in the election, and a democratic response to the will of The Scottish people. It allows the Scottish Parliament to tailor economic and welfare policy to meet the specific circumstances of the Scottish people. Previously Scottish Parliament was only responsible for raising 10% of what it spent. This Bill corrects this inconsistency, making Scottish Parliament more accountable to the Scottish taxpayer. The Bill goes as far as is beneficial: full fiscal autonomy would leave a £7.6bn hole in Scottish finances, rising to £10bn in 2020.

ARGUMENTS AGAINST

Critics say the Bill does not go far enough, and does not live up to the substance or the spirit of the Smith Commission. Its clauses are vague and don’t require Scottish Parliament consent for further legislation in Scotland. Only a full overhaul of the U.K. constitution can secure the Union from further breakup. Allowing the Scottish Parliament to lower airport tax north of the border will hit airports in the north of England. The Bill stops short of full fiscal autonomy as voted for decisively in the SNP manifesto: National insurance, the minimum wage, Corporation tax and much of welfare will remain the domain of Westminster. Only the full devolution of these measures can give the SP the powers it needs to create jobs and lift people out of poverty.