I'm seriously worried about how much I want the vote of a north Croydon 'business' constituent. I'm hoping the vocal minority that we hear on social media and see on the hustings are not representative. Here is why.
Last night the entire panel all applauded several times that ever scarce tax payer funded welfare must be given to landowners and property developers, to "encourage" them to "help us". Are these developers enterprises or misadventures I wonder? Mr Steve Reed, de facto 'elected' as MP at the Labour party selection committee 2 weeks ago showed 100% support.
The small independent traders on the margin all over the town constantly beg for business rates discounts, to "encourage" business. But a break on a tax on land values goes into higher rents. Economics 101. Landlords tell me "We laugh when they give these handouts. We just put up the rent by the same amount".
The blighted London Road traders scrambling for the £26 million riot support cannot see that this will have the same effect in the end.
Again Mr Steve Reed, Labour candidate, declared Croydon tax payers should give windfall welfare to housing developers and property owners "to do up their homes and bring them onto the market". There is an apparent shortage of homes here, so why is he not asking them like any enterprise to make good use of their capital or sell them at the market rate to someone who is an enterprise? Instead more handouts to land hoarders and speculators were put on the table.
I'm urgently worried that Young enterprise nobly trying to set up a new "Tech City" will call out for handouts in subsidised rents.
The East Croydon developer already had £20 million of tax payer welfare to build the "Bridge of Fortune". This will increase the value of their 7 year idle land underneath significantly, even if they do not develop it.
The Westfield 5 point plan is asking for planning permission that will raise the value of the Croydon people's land. Rents there and in all the surrounding premises will rise dramatically as a result. A huge tax free windfall granted by the chairman of the planning committee. Not due to the enterprise of the property developer and the charitable Landlord, the Whitgift Foundation.
I made several attempts to help the crowd see this but they were not in the least interested. Mostly looking for which candidate is bidding highest for their vote, using this welfare. A woman at the back even said "Please can you give more time to the ones most likely to win and save time". Unbelievable.
Croydon, are you enterprises or not? How can we help you see that free enterprise, not welfare, charity dependency on the state, is far more likely to get Croydon back to prosperity?