James Spencer, a blogger and Conservative Council candidate in Ipswich, warns Labour plan Council rent hikes to hit the working poor – while blaming the Government
When I was growing up in a left wing household a local councillor came round to drop off some leaflets. During that time she crowed about how councils in the area were using the introduction of the community charge to hike local tax bills. Due to the way the community charge replaced rates overnight the tax payer
would just see would be a higher bill, which would be blamed on the “ poll tax” . At the same time more money would be available to the councils to buy votes.
Could the same thing be happening with the rent for council housing?
In Labour run Norwich, the council’ s cabinet member for housing, Brenda Arthur, has warned families that they could be paying £200 a week more for a four bedroom property. At least she has the decency to explain that it affects new and not existing tenants.
The qualifications are not present in Bolton where Nick Peel, the executive member for housing, is talking about existing rents “ rocketing” .
The Daily Mirror naturally puts this as “Council homes at risk from rent rise” . No ifs or buts or references to new tenants. They also quote Campbell Robb, the chief executive of Shelter, who the Guardian described as a “ New Labour insider” and who has been very visible recently.
Could certain Labour councils be planning a rent hike that will raise money for the councils (due to the liberalisation of the rent accounts) while transferring the blame on to the national government? They did this with the community charge.
We need to monitor council rents to see if this becomes a pattern. If it does become a pattern we have to develop an effective rebuttal. If we are ready for this, it may turn into a headache for Labour as we can tell council tenants that “Conservative councils cost you less” on rents as well as council tax,
Instead of soaking the rich, the Labour Party could be planning to soak the working poor, the section of society they were set up to help. This is wrong morally, let’ s make it harmful politically.