Wednesday, 11 November 2015

There's No Room For Such An Oppressive Law

As anyone who understands the basics will know, life in a free society involves making choices about what’s best for us by weighing up costs versus benefits. One such example is in deciding where to live. Any government that makes those decisions for us on our behalf by claiming to know what’s best for us better than we do enters the realms of being oppressive. In places like North Korea and Cuba such oppression is commonplace

Alas, I’m sad to read today that the UK government has shown its own oppressive tendencies in proposing a national minimum bedroom size of 6.5 sq m (70 sq ft) as part of a drive to stop landlords carving up houses into ever smaller rooms to maximise rental income, particularly in London where supply is short and demand is great.

While it’s true that some of these rented rooms are not exactly Buckingham Palace, they are rented voluntarily for one simple reason: that for the people in question the benefits of living in London far outweigh the costs of sleeping in a small room. I’ve mentioned before just how numerous the benefits are in living in a large, vibrant city like London. If people want to trade off some of their sleeping luxury to enjoy those benefits in a mutually agreed and mutually beneficial arrangement (not to mention be able to work), then they should be afforded the freedom to do so – not have their freedom oppressed by an interfering government. What this law will actually do is force potentially thousands of low skilled workers out of their rooms, and in many cases out of London and out of their jobs.