Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Lib Dems scrap 'tenant tax'

Liberal Democrat ministers have today announced a major change to the way that the Government treats rents paid by people who live in council houses - including many thousands of residents in North Cornwall.

Lib Dems have long campaigned to reform the Housing Revenue Account subsidy and replace it with a fairer system. We’ve now been able to deliver on that pledge in government.

The unpopular 'Tenant Tax' will be scrapped, with local authorities being allowed to keep all council house rents and sales receipts they collect to reinvest in social housing, under plans announced today by the coalition government.

The proposal, which sees the coalition delivering on a major Liberal Democrat manifesto commitment, will result in the Housing Revenue Account subsidy being scrapped in favour of greater financial freedom for councils. Under the previous system, all council tenant rent was paid into a local housing pot, from which the government retained some of the money centrally.

The new proposals will see this Housing Revenue Account subsidy scrapped. Instead councils will be able to retain all of the money from rents and sales receipts to invest in the repair, maintenance and construction of social housing in their area.

Full details of the new system will be announced as part of the Spending Review on 20 October and will be introduced as part of the Localism Bill this autumn.

This is great news for residents of Ridgegrove, Trecarrell, Hurdon Way and Lanstephan in Launceston as well as other council tenants across Cornwall. It means that Cornwall Council will have more cash to spend on making sure their houses and community facilities are really up to scratch.

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