One of biggest land and property owners in the world attacks middle class second home-owners
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The 88-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II — who has official residences in London, Windsor and Scotland as well as a vast portfolio of property — lamented the demise of the quintessential English village.
“Villages used to have to be more or less self sufficient: they had a butcher, a baker, a shoemaker,” he said. “Now that has all gone because of the way retailing is concentrated in big centres and multi-stores.”
He complained that the huge increase in holiday home ownership, fuelled by a decade-long property and economic boom, at least until last year’s global financial crisis, had changed the make-up of communities around the country.
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Wading into the highly contentious issue of climate change, he stressed the impact of population increase on the production of greenhouse gases.
“People go on about this carbon footprint, but they fail to realise that the amount of carbon going into the atmosphere is entirely dependent on the number of people living on the earth,” he said.
“There are now 60 million people living in this country and we are about the same land size as New Zealand — this country had three million people in Elizabeth I’s day” back in the 16th century, he added.
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