London’s overheating ‘prime central’ and ‘prime suburban’ property markets aggravate inequality.
In 2014, London plays host to 72 resident billionaires, more than any other world city – with 39 of these 72 uber rich coming from overseas.
Politicians tell Londoners they should gratefully welcome this globetrotting elite. They should be proud their city is a safe haven for the wealth of Eastern European oligarchs, Arab oil sheikhs, Far East property speculators, African dictators, and wealthy PIGS (rich folk from Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain seeking a safe haven from the Eurozone crisis for their money).
One common defence of London’s ‘prime’ property markets says: ‘Oligarchs and their like create jobs for drivers, cleaners, gardeners and security guards – and they’ll pay some taxes here too’ – even if many aggressively avoid tax by ensuring most of their wealth flows to offshore havens.
Politicians add: ‘Stop banker bashing – and quit carping about how global investors drive London property prices way beyond the means of most Londoners.
‘The British economy is now on the up and all of our boats will rise on this tide of recovery.’
© London Intelligence 2014