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To ask those who believe their taxes subsidise council tenants to read this

(66 Posts)
Laulau79 Mon 19-Jun-17 10:53:58

The Times today , see pic 😬

VerityHabitat Mon 19-Jun-17 10:58:19

I am not one to harp against council tenants- at all. I don't know anything about benefits or how that all works but can you explain why the council is paid rents? I don't understand the income stream.

sakura06 Mon 19-Jun-17 11:03:11

The council is paid rents because it owns council housing. Tenants who rent council housing pay rent like anyone else.

Truckingalong Mon 19-Jun-17 11:05:37

They pay a vastly reduced rent though.

SantanicoPandemonium Mon 19-Jun-17 11:07:57

Council tenants pay what it costs to maintain stock and run the housing - it isn't a vastly reduced rent, it's just not inflated to pay a landlords mortgage.

HibiscusIsland Mon 19-Jun-17 11:09:47

Thanks for posting that. I hope it gets widely publicised.

JoffreyBaratheon Mon 19-Jun-17 11:11:21

They pay a vastly reduced rent though.

No. Private tenants pay a vastly inflated, unrealistic rent. The more affordable social housing there is, the better it is for everyone, including those who rent privately, as when there isn't such pressure on housing, they will no longer be able to charge extortionate rents.

I have been paying rent on my council house for 15 years (and have had other council houses in the past).

Where I live now there are no mains sewers. No mains gas. No street lights. No school in this village. (Closed down in 1960s, as was the other one in this parish). Nearest police station is 7 miles away. Not even a pavement outside my house.

I pay Band C council tax, along with my neighbours who have a helipad and swimming pool.

My house was built on a corner of a field in the 1940s. Council probably paid off any misinscule mount of £ it cost to build, by, say 1955. Repairs are minimal. The last major refurb? Paid for totally by EU money to deal with slum conditions.

I pay council tax the same as the homeowners here. I get very little for that council tax.

Now that IS unfair.

LittleKiwi Mon 19-Jun-17 11:11:43

Thanks for posting. I've been explaining for years that council housing pays for itself and no one ever believes me or listens.

sakura06 Mon 19-Jun-17 11:12:04

Interesting article OP. Really sad that surplus is not re-invested in housing stock. It'd be understandable if the surplus was re-directed to cover a deficit elsewhere e.g. social care, but to spend it on an opera is a bit questionable. However, I say that but I do enjoy the huge fireworks display my council puts on at great expense every year...

JoffreyBaratheon Mon 19-Jun-17 11:16:43

* I do enjoy the huge fireworks display my council puts on at great expense every year...*

Let them eat cake.

VerityHabitat Mon 19-Jun-17 11:18:06

Spending it on an opera is outrageous- especially while people living in council properties are so frequently villified. They are making money for the council! That is a surprise to me but it's not something that I have ever looked into so am ignorant of it. Thank you for posting this.

Decaffstilltastesweird Mon 19-Jun-17 11:20:40

Yanbu op. Thanks for posting.

Dawndonnaagain Mon 19-Jun-17 11:22:53

Bloody hell! That's grim reading, it really is.

MalcomTuckerInSpace Mon 19-Jun-17 11:26:39

I work for a council and the housing account will be kept separate from the main account (general fund) and the money in it can't be spent on anything but the houses except for a few reasons. I think they're allowed to give a small amount to the other account for HR costs of employing staff in the housing side, stuff like that.

So it will be spent on maintenance, upgrades, housing officers, sheltered accommodation, etc. Councils are really limited in being able to invest in new housing though.

If Kensington and Chelsea really were using rents to subsidise opera, they're breaking the law. They were probably just stashing it in reserves.

BorisTrumpsHair Mon 19-Jun-17 11:27:08

I am going to the opera in Holland Park tomorrow - we got free tickets as they run a "take a child to the opera for free" program (I am in neighboring borough). I will pass on the picnic baskets though and take our own snacks.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Mon 19-Jun-17 11:30:01

It is scandalous.

I've lived and worked in that borough and another wealthy London borough. They would often crow about how little council tax we have to pay and how it has been frozen for years. As if it's a good thing to let millionaires save a few quid at the expense of the poorest in or society hmm A few quid they can easily afford and wouldn't notice.

expatinscotland Mon 19-Jun-17 11:45:50

'Unfair' is the system of private renting in the UK. 'Unfair' is 'buy to leave'. Not council housing hmm.

Ketzele Mon 19-Jun-17 11:45:52

Thanks for posting that, OP. I'm always amazed at how little the general public understands about how council housing works - assumptions that it is free, or subsidised, or only for unemployed people. I guess so many fewer people are living in council housing now, and many have been stirred up tabloid misinformation. Council housing is a positive public good, not an evil plan to force us all to pay the housing costs of spongers.

I used to live in Kensington, and that Council's attitude to anyone who isn't mega-rich is sickening.

BorisTrumpsHair Mon 19-Jun-17 11:47:12

I live Hammersmith and Fulham - until recently we had a Tory run council that was heralded as a "model" council. We also have many very wealthy and many very poor in our borough. Every year council tax was reduced by 3%, and services were cut.

When I queried this with a Tory Councillor, saying I'd rather keep the services and not have the cuts, he said the cuts to council tax were to help the poor. He seemed to really believe this was a good justification.

But surely the poorest in the borough benefit from the council services the most, and are hardest hit by these services being reduced and cut? It seemed very flawed thinking to me.

No one likes to pay over the odds, no one likes to be ripped off, but I for one would rather not have the cuts, and keep the services.

makeourfuture Mon 19-Jun-17 11:47:37

Thatcher immortal.

Gwenhwyfar Mon 19-Jun-17 11:51:23

"They pay a vastly reduced rent though.

No. Private tenants pay a vastly inflated, unrealistic rent. The more affordable social housing there is, the better it is for everyone, including those who rent privately, as when there isn't such pressure on housing, they will no longer be able to charge extortionate rents."

That doesn't change the fact that I, as a private tenant, have to pay much more than a council tenant. I'm on a low income, but wouldn't qualify for council housing in a town or city.

BorisTrumpsHair Mon 19-Jun-17 11:56:35

"They pay a vastly reduced rent though.*

Don't worry - thanks for the "fair rent act" council and HA rents are going up all the time to bring them more in line with "local market private rents".

Fucking wonderful isn't it?

VerityHabitat Mon 19-Jun-17 11:57:27

We have a property in the USA and we pay annual property tax on it based on the government's assessment of it's current value. That has always seemed more reasonable to me than a stamp duty system and council tax. But I am not sure how the council tax banding works so maybe I am wrong about annual property tax being fairer.

DJBaggySmalls Mon 19-Jun-17 11:57:44

YANBU. Its frightening how many people dont know how their own system works. Yet often have such decidedly strong views despite that.

Low paid workers are needed everywhere and have to have somewhere to live. Secure housing enables people to find and keep a job. It also improves peoples mental health.
Council housing stock is an asset, not a burden. where CHB is claimed it moves from one department to another, not out into the pocket of a private landlord.

LagunaBubbles Mon 19-Jun-17 12:01:27

That doesn't change the fact that I, as a private tenant, have to pay much more than a council tenant. I'm on a low income, but wouldn't qualify for council housing in a town or city

What your landlord charges you isnt related though to the council tenants paying the rent their landlord (The Council) asks of them.

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