Kingston delighted at bonfire of “The Tenant Tax”

Liberal Democrat Kingston has warmly welcomed the Coalition Government’s announcement that they plan to scrap the Housing Revenue Account subsidy system -- otherwise known as the deadly “tenant tax”.

Local Liberal Democrat councillors have campaigned for years against this centralising and unfair tax, which diverts the spending of locally levied council tenant rent and sales receipts away from social housing in Kingston. Under the former Labour Government, our housing income was pooled by bureaucrats in Whitehall for spending elsewhere in the country - and used to plug Treasury budgets.

Kingston’s Executive Member for Better Homes, Cllr Frances Moseley commented: “The low volume and poor quality of affordable and social housing in the Royal Borough is a direct result of the local funding drain known as the Housing Revenue Account.

“Last year, more than 30p in every £1 raised from council rents in Kingston – that’s a staggering £6.6million in total – left the local area as a ‘negative subsidy’.”

She added: “We are still awaiting the full detail of the Government’s replacement which will be published after the Comprehensive Spending Review. The devil is in the detail and any changes will not come into effect until at least 2012.

“However, we strongly welcome the assurance of greater power for councils to invest in the repair and maintenance of current stock – as well as the construction of new social housing.

“This should be very good news for the tenants of Kingston upon Thames.”

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