COLUMN: Helen Hayes

News Desk (17 December, 2015)

"The Tories have been caught red handed trying to make another controversial change behind closed doors"

2182Helen Hayes MP

In the run up to the General Election David Cameron stated clearly and unequivocally that the Tories would not cut tax credits for hard working families on lower incomes.

Needless to say just a few weeks after the general election the Tories announced that they would be cutting billions of pounds from the incomes of those same families whose votes he had just courted.

Last month during the Autumn Statement George Osborne claimed that he was no longer pushing ahead with his cruel cuts to tax credits after a strong campaign led by Labour forced him to think again, but now it appears that this was again smoke and mirrors and that there will still be substantial cuts when Universal Credit is introduced.

Now the Tories have been caught red handed trying to make another controversial change behind closed doors that will hit thousands of families in Southwark hard.

Last week the Tories tabled an amendment to the Housing and Planning Bill which will end council tenancies for life. Their change would mean that it would become illegal to offer lifetime tenancies and that councils will only be able to offer tenancies of 2-5 years. After this time every tenancy will have to be reviewed.

This is an appalling proposal that I will fight against tooth and nail. It will mean families across the country worrying about whether their children will still be able to attend the same school next year, how they will organise childcare if they are forced to move and deciding whether or not to get more involved in their community or decorate their home. This is already the challenge faced by so many private renters and the Tories proposal means that Council tenants will face similar anxiety.

The solution to the crisis in genuinely affordable housing in London is to build more Council homes, as Southwark Council is committed to do, not to punish Council tenants for the Tory government’s failures.


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Helen Hayes