Labour plans to cap rent prices

The other day we discussed how the current housing crisis has left a number of people homeless in the UK, especially since average rent prices have been increasing while at the same time the government have been reducing the amount of housing benefits most people receive. This is why head of the opposition party Ed Miliband has recently hit out against the coalition government and outlined his proposals for the future, which include putting a cap on the amount private landlords can charge for rent.

In a speech in Newham on Thursday, Mr Miliband said: “Controlling social security spending and putting decent values at the heart of the system are not conflicting priorities. It is only by reforming social security with the right values that we’ll be able to control costs. And the system does need reform. If we are going to turn our economy round, protect our NHS and build a stronger country, we will have to be laser focused on how we spend every single pound. Social security spending, vital as it is, cannot be exempt from that discipline.”

“We can’t afford to pay billions on ever-rising rents, when we should be building homes to bring down the bill. Thirty years ago, for every £100 we spent on housing, £80 was invested in bricks and mortar and £20 was spent on housing benefit. Today, for every £100 we spend on housing, just £5 is invested in bricks and mortar and £95 goes on housing benefit. Any attempt to control housing benefit costs which fails to build more homes is destined to fail.”

“I will tell you that we do need to get the housing benefit bill down with a cap that works, but crucially by investing in homes and tackling private landlords. He [David Cameron] will make the problem worse by making people homeless and driving up the bill. I will tell you that we always need to value contribution in the system. He will hit people who work hard and do the right thing.”
Private landlords will probably not be too fond of Mr Miliband’s plans to cap rent prices in the housing sector, especially if the amount they have to pay in landlord insurance, maintenance and fees remains the same or even increases. However, at the same time the current housing crisis is also having an adverse effect on private landlords, which means something will need to change in the future.

Leave a Reply