Thursday, 10 January 2013
Labour AM backs Plaid campaign to scrap rent subsidy
All but one council in Wales also contributes to this pot and this amounts to £73m a year (Wrecsam is the biggest contributor for historical reasons).
Mr Skates's support is long overdue - back in July 2011 Plaid was raising this matter in Westminster and getting no support from Labour. Jonathan Edwards MP (Plaid) also called for the system to be scrapped back in November 2010 again without gaining support from Labour.
Here in Wrecsam, Plaid councillors were campaigning about the "great housing rip-off" back in March 2010 and in September 2010 David Cameron agreed the system was unfair.
The system has been unfair for the past decade and successive Labour, Lib Dem and Tory ministers in the UK Treasury have done nothing to stop this inequality. During those last 10 years more than £100m has gone from Wrecsam to prop up council spending in London and Manchester.
That money could have transformed council housing in Wrecsam - funding improvements, renovations and repairs. It could also have enabled us to build new homes - especially pensioners' bungalows - to meet the huge demand for affordable housing. We know that private developers will not meet that demand.
But Plaid raised this while Labour was still in power - almost three years ago. That was the time for Labour politicians to join our campaign and change the system, not issue press releases from the comfort of opposition.