Labour plan inflation busting rent increases for Council tenants

From Spencer Drury, PPC for Greenwich & Woolwich

CONSERVATIVES today accused the Greenwich Labour Party of hypocrisy following their decision to raise rents for Council tenants by above the rate of inflation. 
 
The decision, which was taken at the monthly Cabinet meeting, means that rents will rise by 1.6%. If Labour had stuck to the rate of inflation, then rents would have fallen this year. At the same time as this policy of inflation busting rent hikes, Labour’s literature claims that it is in fact, Conservatives, who will raise rents and end secure tenancies.
 
Part of the increase is because of the Labour Government’s policy of raising rents for Council tenants to the same as those for Registered Social Landlords by 2012/13. Last year in Greenwich, Labour voted through a rise of nearly 6% but following protests, and a Conservative campaign, Labour eventually reduced it to only around 3%.
 
Conservative Councillor and Parliamentary Candidate for Greenwich and Woolwich Spencer Drury has written to many residents to reassure them that it is completely untrue and that it is NOT Conservative policy in Greenwich to raise their rents.
 
Spencer said “Labour is resorting to scaring residents to get votes and many are truly worried by the false descriptions of our policies. One of my residents had sleepless nights over this scaremongering. I can assure them that Greenwich Conservatives have no plans to increase rents to market levels and as someone whose family lived for many years in Council accommodation in Eltham, I can assure them that while I am leader, I would not support an end to secure tenancies in our borough.
 
“I hope residents will punish Labour at the ballot box for their hypocritical tactics. Not only have they got a policy of raising rents above inflation, the Labour government is going to end all subsidy for Council housing. Despite this they are muddying the issue by claiming it is the Conservatives’ policy. This is simply treating people like idiots.
 
“Democracy is supposed to be about parties competing to provide the best way of serving the people, but Labour seems to think it is just about winning and that this justifies them misleading and scaring the voters. I am shocked and disgusted at their tactics.
 
“In Greenwich, Labour’s policy of raising rents above the rate of inflation, the fact that nationally they built less social houses than the previous Conservative government and that housing waiting lists have risen by 75% suggests that their policies on housing, as in other areas, are a failure. I urge voters to use the election to remove them from power.”
 
A good summary of the different national policies can be found at http://simonemmett.net/2010/01/28/sinking-to-a-new-low/