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Pay more tax to solve housing crisis, urges bishop

Sat 05 Mar 2016
By Antony Bushfield

The public should pay more tax to help solve the housing crisis, a bishop has claimed.

Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, John Davies, said people had to be prepared to "tap your own pockets" to allow the government to build more homes.

At a rally outside the Welsh Assembly he said: "We're not talking about housing - I have used the word 'home' - that is something we understand in Wales, something that goes deep into our consciousness.

"Homes create social cohesion, create communities, give you the chance to have self-esteem, dignity and security - and security creates an environment where people can learn, flourish and develop a healthier lifestyle, develop their own sense of well being.

"The absence of a home will create the opposite - it will lead to people's lives becoming chaotic and lacking in the virtues we so easily take for granted."

Church in Wales


He was launching the Homes For Wales campaign, which comes just months before elections to the Welsh Assembly.

"Charities are struggling to find finance to continue to fund their programmes," he said.

"Local authorities are struggling to find money to plough into the affordable housing schemes which they are required to find. So where's the money to come from? Tap your own pockets - it has to come from us.

"I wonder how committed we are to giving people homes if it means perhaps paying a bit more in tax, calling governments to account and saying, 'We will give you the money if you will spend it properly - if you will create homes for people who need them'.

"It's not always somebody else who can make a difference; sometimes we can help them to do it for us because it is something we value."

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