Thursday, 11 June 2009

Residents Win Rebate On Tenant Tax

Local media sources report the announcement that £1.6m extra funding has been allocated by central government to help fund maintenance to around 1,000 existing council houses.

Redlands LibDems notices how this boost is targeted directly at tangible improvements for sections of society which are traditionally Labour-supporting as the government overtly bribes them in an attempt to buy their votes - that Gordon Brown can't count on this demographic is a reflection of Labour's 'shameful neglect' over the years, and potentially answers why they are in so much trouble locally and nationally.

LibDem Housing spokesperson Cllr Benson has been an active campaigner for better policies and is grateful that RBC has 'finally' reversed it's position after lengthy urging from her to support 'fair funding' for council housing and oppose the 'tenant tax' which goes straight to government coffers.

Parliamentary campaigner Cllr Gareth Epps picked apart the detail showing that some of the poorest Reading residents are losing as much as £5.5m per year to the Treasury - so the £1.6m boost is another example of being short-changed by Labour.

Local Conservative blogger Wat Tyler is angered by the proposal to spend so much tax-payers money on a public benefit, which he thinks many tenants could afford themselves. Tyler argues that a priority list should be drawn up to ensure the more needy are helped first in an effort to dissuade feckless sponging.

However this raises the questions of whether they would or should be sold off if they became an attractive market proposition, at what level 'basic' housing is acceptable and whether it is society's job to provide 'basic' housing in the first place.

Oranjepan asks:
Why are any council houses in the 21st Century still lacking basic 20th Century amenities? Is the state best placed to provide and fund social housing?

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