The true scale of Britain’s housing crisis
SIR – Liam Halligan (Business, November 11) is clearly right that the Government needs to get a grip on the housing crisis.
While he highlights the 300,000 houses completed each year in the late Sixties, that was after several years of progress when Harold Macmillan was housing minister.
We are now starting from a much lower baseline, and with a population of 67 million, in contrast to the approximately 55 million who lived here in 1967. John Birkett
St Andrews, Fife
SIR – As Liam Halligan points out, the Prime Minister has said that solving the housing crisis is the biggest domestic policy challenge of our generation.
Yet the Government persists with HS2, which will involve the demolition of over 400 houses in London alone, and countless hundreds elsewhere.
Separately you reported (November 4) that the Transport Secretary has admitted that the second phase of HS2 may never be built. This would be a step in the right direction and would save some housing. However, the chairman of the company responsible for building HS2 says that without the Northern section there isn’t a business case for the line at all.
The House of Lords Select Committee found in 2015 that HS2 lacks a business case that justifies the cost, now expected to be over£50 billion. More recently a survey has found that 85 per cent of the public considers it to be a waste of money. It is time to scrap HS2 completely, returning the compulsorily purchased housing to the original owners before any track is laid, and save the money for more worthwhile causes. RV Tate