Sunday, October 9, 2016

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Private Landlords Who Leach Off Public Purse

Mick Hall writing @ Organized Rage contends that:

The biggest recipients of Benefits in the UK are private Landlords who leach off the public purse with Tory governmental approval.


"If the state is to pay or top-up rents in this way, the state must also have a right to interfere in the level of rents."

I do not agree with Craig Murray (see below) when he says the way to tackle Rachman like Landlords is to abolish housing benefit, but he makes some interesting points, not least why the Tories have never challenged the excess of the private landlords rents. Indeed they are doing the opposite with the 'pay to stay bill', which is the first stage of the Tory government's drive to raise social housing rents to the same high level in the private sector. The only beneficiary of this bill with be private landlords.

This is hardly surprising as Parliament is stuffed full of them. It's why it has refused to introduce a fair rent act. According to Dawn Foster writing in the Guardian:

The number of MPs supplementing their incomes by acting as landlords has risen by a quarter since the last parliament, with David Cameron and George Osborne among those earning extra money by renting out properties.

According to Guardian research, almost a third of MPs are now letting out their houses or flats, with 196 declaring rental income on the official register of interests this year. The majority of those are earning more than £10,000 a year from the property, topping up their basic MP’s annual salary of £67,060.

The Conservative party has the highest number of landlord MPs at 128, meaning 39% of Tory MPs are landlords, compared with 26% of Scottish National party MPs and 22% from Labour.

The research reveals a much higher proportion of MPs are landlords than the general adult population, in which just 2% are estimated to be renting out homes.

The government’s housing policy has come under intense criticism from the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who has challenged the attack on social housing and the failure to address the shortage of homes and would introduce a fair rent act when he become PM.


Landlords have a long history of exploiting British people the clue is in the name.
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Let’s Rename Housing Benefit more fairly as Landlord Bonus.

So-called “Housing benefit” is of zero benefit to tenants. It is a massive flow of taxpayer cash to landlords – an incredible £25 billion per year. It plays a pivotal role in the growth of landlordism and the bubbling of house prices to well beyond the pockets of most young people.

It is argued on the right of politics that rent controls would be an unwarranted interference that would distort the housing market and prevent it operating efficiently. Yet housing benefit is itself a massive distortion, allowing landlords to charge rents far beyond what the market would ordinarily bear. If the state is to pay or top-up rents in this way, the state must also have a right to interfere in the level of rents.

For the sake of clarity of argument, I do not regard “Housing Associations” as anything but part of the landlord class, especially given the high salaries they pay their executives.

Both Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith have recently argued for a rent control solution – and in Jeremy Corbyn’s case he believes it. That would certainly be a vast improvement on the present situation. But my own view is that it is illogical to boost rents by a massive transfer of taxpayer cash to landlords by housing benefit, and then seek a second mechanism to control them.

Housing benefit should simply be abolished. The results would be the collapse of the buy to let market and the bankruptcy of some of the least lovely people in the country, a crash in rents, and the pricking of the UK’s property bubble, where homes are priced in much of the UK at 8 to 12 times average salary.

The abolition would need to be accompanied by a one year moratorium on all evictions until the market settles down and rents can be renegotiated. I do not rule out rent controls as part of the new arrangements to govern the market.

It is worth pointing out that as housing benefit is taken from general taxation, and as London accounts for an obscenely disproportionate percentage of housing benefit paid, it represents yet another hidden area where London sucks the wealth from the rest of the country.

Housing benefit is not actually a “benefit” to the needy at all. Have you ever wondered why the Tories make zero concerted efforts to cut this “benefit”, when they are so keen on driving disabled people to suicide and sanctioning the unemployed?

It is because housing “benefit” is the UK’s biggest con, a direct subsidy from the taxpayers to the very wealthy.

2 comments :

larry hughes said...

Money money money, public service becomes self service.

Organized Rage said...

Larry spot on, good quote will use that at later date. all the best