The myth of ‘heavily subsidised Council Housing’

Ironically, it’s not Council Housing, but the Tories’ own Starter Homes that are subject to massive subsidies, as you can read in this excerpt from the Hansard of the Parliamentary Debate, 12 Jan 2016,Housing and Planning Bill

Dr Blackman-Woods: (…)

Let me move quickly on to the pay-to-stay provisions in chapter 4 of part 4. Again, as the Minister is aware, we have tabled a number of amendments to try to make the pay-to-stay provisions more palatable. Amendment 95 would establish exemptions from the application of the high income rents system while amendment 57 would ensure that the system would be tapered to avoid a sudden jump in rents when an increase would apply. Amendment 58 looks to ensure that local authorities  (…)

12 Jan 2016 : Column 715

Dr Blackman-Woods: (…) It is interesting to see that the Government caved into pressure from housing associations and removed the element of compulsion from them, but that only means that council tenants are now being singled out for the application of these extraordinary measures. As councils say that the provisions are unworkable in any case, will the Minister explain to us why he has insisted that they should remain for council tenants?

Chris Philp (Croydon South) (Con): Is the hon. Lady seriously suggesting to the House that people should receive heavily subsidised housing even if they earn very high incomes?

Dr Blackman-Woods: As we did our best to explain to the hon. Gentleman in Committee, such housing is often not subsidised. The point that we are making is that councils already have the discretion to set higher rents for people with higher incomes if they choose to do so. What we are querying this afternoon is why the Government are introducing an element of compulsion and why this will apply to council tenants only.

Mr Betts: We should kill the myth of subsidised council housing. Under the rules which this Government changed following the proposals from the previous Government, housing revenue accounts are self-funding. There is no subsidy. The only subsidies that I can see are right to buy discounts and starter home discounts that the Government are proposing.

Dr Blackman-Woods: My hon. Friend has won that round of the debate.

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