FOLLOWING on from the disgraceful housing bill that was passed at 3am on Tuesday morning, and the arrogant display by David Cameron when questioned about it by Jeremy Corbyn at Prime Minister’s Question Time, I wonder if council and social housing tenants really understand what is going to happen next year.

The main one being those in a household who jointly earn £30,000 or more (that is two people who earn the minimum adult wage) will have to pay full market rent. In effect this means currently someone paying £500 a month for their rent will see that go up to at least £1,250 a month, an extra £9,000 a year! The council doesn’t even get this extra income to build more homes that we desperately need. Oh no, it all goes into Cameron’s and Osborne’s back pocket.

These will be no incentive to get on at work, as if you jointly earn just under the threshold of £30,000, and a promotion will put you over that, you will turn it down as an extra £1,000 pay rise will actually cost you £8,000.

Also they are forcing councils to sell off their most valuable properties once they become free, which means one house less on the council register and they don’t even get to keep all the proceeds to build a replacement.

They have also scrapped the tenancy for life agreement and brought in a new one where the tenancy will only last between two to five years, after which you can be kicked out – just what a family needs.

Even if you now wanted to downsize to a smaller property, you can’t as you would have to sign up for the new tenancy agreement – who in their sane mind would do that? So, the ‘house blocking’ will grow even bigger.

Historically council housing is public housing that is rented to households which are unable to afford to rent from the private sector or buy their own home. This Tory government and the media are pedalling a myth that all council tenants are on benefits and that taxpayers subsidies the rent.

This is a blatant lie.

There are actually fewer people on benefits in council housing than not. The taxpayer does not subsidise tenants a penny, but they do subsidise those that decide to take up the right to buy option.

The tenant who has been in a council house for 30 years has actually paid for that house and will go on paying for that house until he or she dies.

Many of the council properties in Oxford were built in the 60s when the market price for a two-bedroomed house was £4,500 and in the 1970s £12,000.

The original proposal was to start this at £60,000, but the government soon realised there are not many council tenants earning that and it would not bring in much revenue.

By lowering it to £30,000 they have dragged thousands and thousands of less-than-average earners into paying vast amounts more that they can not afford.

If £30,000 makes you ‘rich’ why does the top rate of tax start at over £40,000?

The final insult to us all was the announcement that he was going to bulldoze rundown council estates and rebuild them. Looks good, until you read the small print. Those tenants, including those who have bought their house, will not be guaranteed to go back to the newly built homes! Oh no, they will rehouse you somewhere ‘close by’ and their Tory friends will buy them up and rent them out at even higher prices. Unbelievable.

Cameron and Osborne really are out of touch with reality.

Sandy Lane
Blackbird Leys