New London mayor needs support of 47% of constituents who rent their homes - TAP letter in Guardian

6 May 2016

TAP LETTER IN THE GUARDIAN 6/5/16

A POLITICAL ADDICTION TO A FREE MARKET POLICY UNSUITED TO A LIMITED SUPPLY OF LAND.

The new mayor of London (Opinion, theguardian.com, 4 May) will need the massed support of the 47% of their constituents who rent their homes if they are to implement an affordable living rent at one third of income. That desperately needed London policy will sail into a perfect gale of national policy crosswinds.

The Department for Communities and Local Government tells us, in windy language worthy of Yes Minister, “the maximum rent for an affordable rent property, when it is first let to a new tenant, is 80% of the market rate, inclusive of service charges, or the ‘social rent rate’ (exclusive of service charges), whichever is higher. Providers should then apply the 1% reduction, introduced by the Welfare Reform Act 2016, in the following relevant years”.

All that is undone by three cuts in housing benefit due to the local housing allowance, bedroom tax and benefit cap, which leave rent to be paid out of shredded benefits. Not even during the enclosures of 1760-1820 were so many low income tenants evicted by a political addiction to a free market policy unsuited to a limited supply of land.

The Rev Paul Nicolson
Taxpayers Against Poverty


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