Socialist Worker

Climbdown on rent hike

Issue No. 2143

The government has been forced to back down over planned council rent increases.

Caught between strong campaigning on one side and the mounting recession on the other, housing minister Margaret Beckett announced earlier this month that she is halving the advised weekly rent increase from April from 6.2 percent to 3.1 percent.

Paul Burnham from Haringey Defend Council Housing told Socialist Worker that tenants and supporters had campaigned hard to fight the threat of an inflation-busting rise.

He said, “The government has backed down because tenants argued and campaigned against these increases at a time when jobs are insecure and money is tight.

“All 1,840,000 council tenants in England have already received notices with the proposed rent increases. Now all of these will have to be recycled – what a lot of waste paper!

“These rises are still way above any likely pay rises or pension and benefit increases this year. In this economic climate, we need a rent freeze.

“And increases in service charges are also still hitting us hard.”

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Tue 17 Mar 2009, 18:45 GMT
Issue No. 2143
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