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【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 如何解决英国的住房危机

2017年12月25日10:42 来源:互联网
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【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 如何解决英国的住房危机图1

Housing in Britain——Rooms for improvement

英国的住房问题:进步空间

How to solve Britain's housing mess?

如何解决英国的住房危机?

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On every side, Britain's politicians are grappling with problems of immense scale and nightmarish complexity.

在各个方面,英国政客都在与大规模且噩梦般错综复杂的问题斗争。

How to manage the departure from the European Union?

如何解决脱欧带来的影响?

How to help a crumbling health service cope with an ageing, weakening population?

如何帮助一个摇摇欲坠的公共医疗服务应对人口日益老龄化且日益衰弱的情况?

How to deal with persistent regional deprivation?

如何应对持续的地域性贫困?

Yet one national scourge that holds back the economy and poisons politics is readily solvable—politicians just need to be brave enough to act.

然而一个国家的祸害比如阻碍经济和政治影响是容易解决的,政客们只需要足够勇敢的行为。

That scourge is the cost of housing.

这个灾祸是住房的成本。

The ratio of median house prices to earnings in England hit 7.7 in 2016, its highest recorded level.

2016年,英国平均房价与收入的比率达到了7.7,创历史最高水平。

In the past four decades house prices have grown by more in Britain than in any other G7 country.

在过去的四十年,英国的房价已经上涨得比其它G7国家还要多。

Home ownership has been falling for more than a decade, after rising for most of the past century.

在过去大半个世纪上涨之后,住房自有率已经连续十年下跌。

In London housing is outlandishly dear: before the Brexit vote sent the pound tumbling, it was the priciest city in the world for renters.

在伦敦,住房是出奇的昂贵:在英国退欧公投之前,英镑暴跌,伦敦是世界上租房价格最高的城市。

The cost of housing has knock-on effects across the economy.

住房成本对整个经济产生了连锁反应。

As people are forced out to the suburbs, cities become less dynamic.

当人们被迫搬到郊区时,城市变得不那么有活力了。

Workers waste time on marathon, energy-sapping commutes.

工人们把时间浪费在马拉松式、消耗能量的通勤上。

People from the regions cannot afford to move to cities where they might find work.

郊区的人们支付不起搬到他们可能找到工作的城区的费用。

Businesses cannot clear land to build.

企业不能清理土地用以建设。

It is perhaps no coincidence that Britain's growing housing mess has coincided with stagnant productivity.

英国日益增长的住房市场混乱与生产力停滞相吻合,这也许不是巧合。

All this has fostered a growing sense of inequity.

所有这些都滋生了一种日益增长的不平等感。

Britons over the age of 65, a fifth of the population, own over 40% of the housing wealth held by owner-occupiers.

年龄超过65岁的英国人占人口的五分之一,他们以业主占有的方式拥有40%的房屋财产。

Youngsters with rich parents can buy their first house thanks to the “Bank of Mum and Dad”.

有富有父母的年轻人可以买他们的第一套房,多亏了“爸妈的银行”。

Everyone else must resign themselves to renting small properties for life, or to continuing to pay off their mortgage long after retirement.

其他的人则必须放弃自己的意愿,终身租着小房子,或者在退休很久后继续偿还贷款。

At the election in June half of all private renters voted for Labour and Jeremy Corbyn, up from a third who supported the party in 2010.

在六月的竞选中,所有私人租房者中的一半将选票投给了工党和Jeremy Corbyn,他们中的三分之一曾在2010年支持过这个政党。

As home-ownership declines, the Conservatives, in particular, are beginning to worry —as indeed they should.

随着住宅自有率下降,保守党开始了他们本来的担心。

What makes Britain's housing squeeze maddening is that, unlike many other problems, something can easily be done about it.

不像其他问题那样,住房问题让人民发狂是因为在这方面有些简单的措施可以做。

【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 如何解决英国的住房危机图2

Britain needs to get building.

英国需要建设。

The consensus is that, to keep prices in check, it must put up 300,000 houses a year, double what it erected in 2015-16.

人们的共识是,要想保持价格的可控,它必须每年建造30万套住房,这个数量是2015-16年建造房屋数量的两倍。

Mr Corbyn says the answer is a huge expansion of public housing, like the one in the Wilson and Callaghan governments in the 1970s.

科尔宾表示,解决之道是大幅扩张公共住房,就像上世纪70年代威尔逊和卡拉汉的政府一样。

This would be expensive, especially if such housing was let at below-market rates.

这将是很昂贵的,尤其是这类住房在低于市场价出租的情况下。

And few Britons aspire to rent from the council for life.

而且极少数人愿意终生在市政机构租赁房屋。

Better would be to unleash the market.

更好的是释放市场。

A change to regulations on GREen-belt land, which surrounds cities and which is designed to block construction, is long overdue.

绿化带被设计来包围城市和抑制建筑,改变管理的条例一直延迟长久未兑现。

Far from being a bucolic retreat, much of the green belt is intensively farmed.

并非是田园撤退,大部分的绿化带被密集耕种。

By one estimate, more of Surrey is devoted to golf courses than houses.

一项调查显示,萨里郡的大部分土地被用来建设高尔夫球场而不是房屋。

Within Greater London enough green-belt land languishes to build 1.6m houses at average densities.

由于伦敦有足够多的绿化带,以现有平均房屋密度来看有能力建造160万套房屋。

The government should also cut stamp duty, a land tax levied on property transactions.

政府还应该削减印花税,即房产交易征收的土地税。

Over the long term the burden has risen, which is one reason why the rate of transactions has slumped.

从长期来看,这一负担增加了,这也是为什么交易量下降的原因之一。

Abolishing or replacing stamp duty would help more young families live in decent homes.

废除或取代印花税将帮助更多的年轻家庭住上体面的房屋。

Oldies could downsize at less cost, freeing up more of Britain's 25m or so empty bedrooms.

老年人可以以更低的成本缩减开支,腾出更多的英国2500万左右的空卧室。

And Westminster needs to do away with the perverse incentives arising from local-government taxation, in particular the out-of-date system of council tax, which is levied on housing.

威斯敏斯特需要从政府税收中去除不当诱因的增长,尤其是那些征收房屋税的过时的政府税收体系。

Councils miss out on much of the extra local tax revenue from new houses, because it is hoovered up and redistributed by central government.

由于房产税收收入被中央政府吸收和重新分配,地方议会失去了许多额外的地方房产税收收入。

But they are lumbered with the cost of providing local services for newcomers.

但他们却因为为新来者提供本地服务的成本而步履维艰。

That should change.

这应该改变。

Councils should be allowed to charge taxes that reflect the true values of properties—and keep the proceeds.

地方议会应被允许收取反映房产真实价值的税收,并保留收益。

Economically straightforward is not the same as politically easy.

经济上的易行并不等同于政治上的易行。

Even so, Theresa May, the prime minister, has so far failed to show any mettle over housing.

即便如此,英国首相特里莎梅梅迄今为止仍未能在住房问题上表现出任何勇气。

Her government has proposed nothing more than tweaks to a broken system.

她的政府除了对一个支离破碎的系统进行微调之外,什么也没有提出。

This lack of leadership feeds a crisis that is entirely unnecessary.

这种领导力的缺失助长了一场完全没有必要的危机。

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