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Hackney mayor says scrapping of Pay to Stay is ‘victory for low-paid working families’

PUBLISHED: 10:34 22 November 2016 | UPDATED: 11:04 22 November 2016

Hackney campaigners march against the housing bill in central London earlier this year

Hackney campaigners march against the housing bill in central London earlier this year

Archant

“A victory for the low-paid working families” is how the mayor of Hackney has described the government’s decision to scrap its controversial Pay to Stay plans.

Mayor Philip Glanville outside the town hall. (Picture: Garty Manhine).Mayor Philip Glanville outside the town hall. (Picture: Garty Manhine).

The policy, announced last year by George Osborne, would have forced London’s council tenants earning £40,000 between them to pay more from April.

Mayor Philip Glanville, Hackney’s former housing boss, has campaigned extensively against the proposals and the council has also been part of a working group set up by the Department for Communities and Local Government arguing its case.

The mayor said not only would some tenants face 300 per cent rent hikes but the short notice given to councils up and down the country would cause a “bureaucratic nightmare” in setting up the systems.

But ministers yesterday said they had “listened carefully” to responses of a public consultation and decided to make the unpopular proposals optional.

“I’m pleased the government has finally listened to Hackney, campaigning local residents and others and scrapped it,” said mayor Glanville.

“We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to demonstrate to ministerial officials the damage this tenant tax would have on families in Hackney and the bureaucratic nightmare it would place on tenants and local authorities – the reasons I marched, campaigned and spoke out in parliament against this legislation.

“Ministers must now apply the same sense to other counterproductive measures in the Housing and Planning Act – such as the forced sale of council homes to fund a needless extension of Right to Buy – and end their assault on social housing.”

The decision has also saved the town hall £500,000 – the amount it would have cost to implement the system.


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