Thursday, 10 January 2013

Labour AM backs Plaid campaign to scrap rent subsidy

Good to see Clwyd South Labour AM Ken Skates backing our campaign to scrap the Housing Revenue Account subsidy to the UK Treasury that means £11m a year of tenants' money from Wrecsam goes to help councils in England. That's one third of all the money Wrecsam raises from rent every year.
 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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"During those last 10 years more than £100m has gone from Wrecsam to prop up council spending in London and Manchester."

Madness. Imagine what that funding could do for Wrexham's housing stock.

It is simply crazy for that money to be leaving Wales and reflects the weakness Wales has in lacking a Treasury function.

I'm also concerned this wasn't in the Silk Commission. Although maybe that means it can be dealt with outside of that process.