11:26 AM, 29th September 2016, About 6 years ago 19
In his Keynote speech to close the Labour Party conference in Liverpool, the leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn, accused the government of subsidising private landlords spending £9bn of housing benefits in the sector. A sum double that of 10 years ago.
Despite the Private Rented Sector (PRS) now accounting for over half of housing benefits tenants, the total cost to tax payers last year for government social housing was £15.2bn.
Jeremy Corbyn said, “look what’s happened to housing under the Tories house building has fallen to its lowest level since the 1920s, home ownership is falling as more people are priced out of the market, evictions and homelessness go up every year, council homes are sold off without being replaced.
“And another consequence is that we’re paying over £9bn a year to private landlords in housing benefit.
“Instead of spending public money on building council housing, we’re subsidising private landlords. That’s wasteful, inefficient, and poor government.”
The RLA immediately responded with policy director David Smith saying, “millions of tenants rely on housing benefit in both the private and the social housing sectors, but proportionately far more is spent on social housing tenants than those in private accommodation.
“With the private rental market having doubled in size since 2002, it is inevitable that more housing benefit claimants will be living in the sector.”
Mr Corbyn also touched on the subject of bringing more stability to tenants with future policies around potential rent controls. He said “we will control private rents.”
It is fair game in politics to be critical of the failings of government to deal with the housing crisis, however to insinuate that private landlords as a group are doing something wrong by using the word ‘subsidising’ as an accusation of profiteering rather than providing a service is not an accurate reflection of the services provided by many Property118 readers.