Cameron's Class War - to turn the poor out of their homes
tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Tue Aug 3 22:43:41 BST 2010
Cameron threatens lifetime tenancies
3 August 2010 - Inside Housing - By Tom Lloyd
David Cameron has suggested the Conservative-led
government could do away with lifetime tenancies,
contradicting promises made before the election.
In a question and answer session with members of
the public in Birmingham, the prime minister said
it makes sense to look at a more flexible system of tenure.
In the run up to the general election Mr Cameron
came under attack from then housing minister John
Healey, who accused the Conservatives of wanting to end secure tenancies.
At the time, Mr Cameron said the allegations were
simply untrue and a spokesperson for the
Conservatives said the party had no policy to
change the current or future security of tenure of tenants in social housing.
But today he said: There is a question mark
about whether, in future, we should be asking
when you are given a council home is it for a
fixed period? Because maybe in five or 10 years
you will be doing a different job and be better
paid and you wont need that home, you will be
able to go into the private sector.
He said the question will lead to quite a bit
argument and that he was not talking about
existing tenants but that for future tenants it
could be asked whether there would be more social
mobility if people moved through social housing,
rather than regarding it as something they get for life.
David Cameron announces plan to end lifetime council tenancies
Council homes for life to be replaced by
tenancies lasting as little as five years based on need and income
Patrick Wintour, political editor
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 3 August 2010 21.43 BST
'Not everyone will support this and there will be
quite a big argument,' Cameron admitted. Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters
An end to lifetime council tenancies was
signalled today by David Cameron as he warned the
coming public spending cuts will not be restored when the economy recovers.
Cameron said he wanted to see fixed terms for all
new council and housing association tenancies
lasting as little as five years to help increase social mobility.
The prime minister admitted that "not everyone
will support this and there will be quite a big
argument". Speaking in Birmingham, he said:
"There is a question mark about whether, in
future, we should be asking when you are given a
council home, is it for a fixed period? Because
maybe in five or 10 years you will be doing a
different job and be better paid and you won't
need that home, you will be able to go into the private sector."
A consultation paper, due to be published as
early astomorrow, will say the new short-term
tenure would be for local councils to implement,
but would involve regular reviews of tenancies to
see if the council tenant still needed such a
large property or had sufficient income to shift to the private sector.
At present council tenants have secure tenancy
for life. Housing association tenants have secure
tenancy for life after a probationary year.
Council tenants have the right to hand the
property over to their children, whereas housing association tenants do not.
The communities department estimates that it
costs each taxpayer £35 a week to keep people in
affordable homes, and it is argued the tenancy
for life is an inefficient use of scarce resources.
Under the government's proposals council tenants
could be forced to downsize. A total of 234,000
households in the social tenant sector are
overcrowded while 456,000 are under-occupied,
meaning people have more than one extra spare
room, according to official figures.
The government has already announced separate plans to cut housing benefit.
Defending the reforms that have proved too
politically explosive for Labour housing
ministers to implement, the coalition's housing
minister, Grant Shapps, said last night: "It is
quite clear that the real losers from the current
system are the 1.8m people on council house
waiting lists who the current arrangements do not help.
"It is time to consider whether our affordable
housing system can be better used and whether one
of the benefits would be greater social mobility.
Any benefits from these changes might take many
years, but it does not mean we should shy away
from doing something. This will have no impact on
existing council or housing association tenants."
Shapps has been holding private talks with key
housing groups to persuade them to back the reforms.
Critics of the proposed reforms say it could
disincentivise the unemployed to seek well-paid
work as they might lose their tenancy as result.
There are also fears that it would increase the
chances of council estates becoming ghettos of the workless poor.
The homeless charity Shelter said tonight: "We do
not believe the big question in housing policy is
security of tenure for new tenants. The prime
minister has sidestepped the fundamental cause of
our housing crisis the desperate lack of affordable housing supply."
Helen Williams, assistant director at the
National Housing Federation, said: "There is a
case for looking at what is offered to new
tenants, as a way to seeing if over time social
housing could help more people."
Cameron today urged the public to recognise that
the deficit was a moral issue and suggested
public spending would not be restored to its
current levels when the economy improves.
"Should we cut things now and then go back later
and try and restore them?" Cameron asked. "I
think we should try to avoid that approach
people should open their minds and find new ways
of doing more for less. We're going to have to
change the way we work. How can we do things
differently and better to give the value for money?"
With the Spending review due to be published in
October, he urged people to recognise there would
be light at the end of the tunnel, and that "it
is not all doom and gloom". Cuts of 25% the
equivalent of a 5% cut every year was what many
businesses and families were facing with their own budgets.
He said his aim was to tackle the big ticket
items like pensions public sector pay, and
welfare before tackling smaller budgets.
+44 (0)7786 952037
"Capitalism is institutionalised bribery."
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic
poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Diggers350