As people’s earnings deflate, finding a home has never been more expensive, and yet we’re footing the bill!
In January 2019, the UK Government awarded Serco and Mears almost £3 billion pounds (£2.9bn – £1.9bn awarded to Serco, and £1bn to Mears) in relation to their successful AASC (Asylum Accommodation and Support Contracts) bids.
At that time, the number of migrants entering the country via small boats was in the low hundreds (299 in 2018). By the end of 2022, that figure had risen by over 15,000% to 45,755, with more and more government support being required to deal with the problem. This is great news if you’re Serco or Mears, but not so great if you’re a British taxpayer, especially a British taxpayer looking buy or rent a property for the first time.
With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, where all non-essential businesses were put in hiatus (especially those in the hospitality sector), this provided the likes of Serco with an additional capacity opportunity, to home boat migrants in hotels and guest houses throughout the UK. This started with the more inexpensive facilities, but soon expanded to include 3, 4 and 5-star hotels.
This practice was well known in non-mainstream circles but has only been reported by the mainstream media in recent months, and even then, to do nothing more than deride local and national groups who oppose this practice.
In February 2022, as the UK exited the draconian measures put in place because of the pandemic, people began to feel comfortable to plan for the future again, and to consider things such as holidays and weddings, etc. Except there was a problem: a lot of those hotels were no longer taking bookings.
Also, weddings that had been planned and then postponed (because of the pandemic), were now being cancelled by the hosting venues that were being used to home boat migrants. These stories highlighted the issue and were one of the main driving factors in public awareness. Local papers began to report of the heartbreak suffered by local couples, whose special day had been ruined (and – more importantly – the underlying reason why).
February 2022 is also important, because it is the same month that Serco began its ‘Calling All Landlords’ campaign.
The deal offered to landlords and homeowners was simple: Serco will give you a 5 year, worry free, contract to house migrants. They will maintain the property. They will pay all of the bills associated with the property (council tax, amenities bills, etc.). Essentially, homeowners and landlords get 5 years of rental profit, without any of the usual outlays, or hassle.
A social consequence of this is that long term residents in rental properties are now routinely being evicted once the landlord’s official agreed notice period has elapsed. Oftentimes no excuse is given by the landlord, even if the tenant has been a resident for several years, without incident, and who pays their rent on time.
Another darker aspect of this irresistible deal is the fact that care homes are also included in the property types being sought for use by Serco. They caveat this by stating “former care homes”, however, it is not unknown for unscrupulous types to feign closure, and then repurpose the property for another, more convenient (to them) use.
If overnight, you could remove the burden of eye-watering bills, complying with dozens of regulations, and having to be an employer of staff – for 5 years of worry-free profit – then who wouldn’t throw granny out with the bathwater?
And what do Serco – and their free market, voice boxes – say: “Well, the landlords are not being forced to accept the deal, are they?”
No, but making it almost impossible to refuse their offer is equally repugnant. Especially when Serco (and Mears) can only offer these kinds of deals because they have state funded deep pockets. Deep pockets that are filled with money stolen from our pockets in the form of taxes.
Another trend recently is that letters are being posted through people’s doors with no company, logo, or address details, that state something along the lines of: “Hello, if you ever consider selling your property, then we will pay the market rate, no questions asked, and irrespective of condition.”
These are usually signed off with nothing more than a forename and a mobile phone number. In my area, these letters have been appearing in the less well-off towns and villages, where house prices are still relatively low (when compared to the eye-watering national average).
Who are these buyers? Well, that is unclear, but whether they are privateers looking to get cheap properties in order to let them out to Serco (on their lucrative 5-year deal), or whether they are operating on behalf of a bigger organisation, the end result is the same: an even greater reduction in available – and affordable – housing for British people.
Finally, think for one moment about the looming financial crisis. Inflation is at a 40-year high. The Government will have you believe it is around 7-8%, but in real terms, you can double that and be closer to the actual figure. This – combined with increasing interest rates – is a double blow to families already struggling to make ends meet.
Fiat currency is predicted to crash sooner rather than later, and therefore companies and individuals with the means to do so are converting fiat currency – while it still has some value – into commodities such as gold, land, and real estate, which does have value retention.
Private companies such as Serco and Mears saw their profits double to £110 million in 2022. These companies – or their multinational owners – will be using those profits to invest in commodities. Commodities such as properties. Properties which can then be leased back to the Government in order to home migrants for even more profit in return.
It is the perfect financial feedback loop.
The cruellest irony of all of this being that British people, who are unable to get onto the property ladder, or even afford to rent a home, are funding this reduction in available housing, through taxes stolen from them by the exchequer.
Also, let’s not forget, that the number of immigrants entering the country illegally, is a drop in the ocean when compared to legal – and mostly pointless – immigration. In 2021 over 890,000 people legally migrated into the UK (and – let’s not forget – this was during the middle of a pandemic), and just under 400,000 migrated out of the UK. A net residual of half a million extra people in the UK.
In 2022, 1.1 million people migrated into the UK and 560,000 people emigrated from it, leaving another 504,000 extra people in the UK. That’s over one million people in two years. One million people who are here legally, who now also need to be homed.
The Government (across all rosette colours) talks big when it comes to increasing supply. Unfortunately, supply can never compete with demand when you have unsustainable figures such as these. However, that same government (again across all rosette colours) are not so vocal on reducing the demand side of that equation.
Sending half-a-dozen migrants – here and there – to Rwanda, isn’t going to cut the mustard, no matter how hard Suella rattles her sabre!