What is Benoit Hamon’s Property Manifesto?
The Socialist Party of France has elected their most left-wing nominee to be their presidential candidate. Most known for being a proponent of Universal Income, what is Benoit Hamon’s political program when it comes to property and housing?
Like Labour in the UK and the Democrats in the United States, the party membership of the Socialists in France has proved it still has a penchant for old-fashioned left-wing political leaders. While he is unlikely to reach the second round of the presidential elections, his popularity is rising and so considering a Hamon presidency’s implications for property is necessary.
Firstly, he is an avid proponent of the ALUR law rent caps and would like to see them extended to all areas in France with high property tension – struggling to match supply with demand – which would mean most cities and sought-after communes: first priority, the Ile-de-France region.
Second homes tax
And like the Communist Party, he would like to see the surcharge on second homes increased to 100% rather than the 60% measure recently voted through in Paris by the Conseil de Paris. He would also bring short-term rental platforms like Airbnb further under control, arguing that short-term rentals act to the detriment of locals.
Pinel and building subsidies
He has promised to increase spending on building subsidies, like the Pinel law, to 1 billion euros a year, although he has said he would evaluate the effectiveness of Pinel. He has promised 500,000 new homes will be built if he is elected; 150,000 would be social housing. This would have to mean increasing France’s budget deficit, which Benoit Hamon has said he is willing to do.
Where he is similar to Fillon and other candidates is his desire to ease regulations and fiscal inflexibility to help access to property. Fiscal incentives would encourage renovation of inner-city decrepit properties, with the emphasis on social housing rather than private.
Even aside from his proposal of Universal Income – doing away with benefits and giving a flat monthly stipend to every citizen – Benoit Hamon’s policies are far to the left of Manuel Valls, who he pipped to the nomination. While he is unlikely to be president, time will tell if this approach to property has become the norm in the Socialist Party.
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