Welwyn Hatfield MP says those earning over �100k should not live in council houses
FAT cats on salaries topping �100,000 should be turfed out of subsidised council housing to make way for people who need the homes more.
That is the view of Welwyn Hatfield MP and housing minister Grant Shapps, who wants to cut social housing waiting lists. Mr Shapps said the policy idea was to help the needy into housing, but he also accepted it was aimed at cases such as left-wing RMT firebrand Bob Crow.
Commenting on the council-house dwelling union boss’s domestic circumstances, Mr Shapps told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “He can stay if he wants, but I think in a case like that where the gap between the actual rent is so large – I mean he earns 145-grand, and I would have thought he can pay his own rent and we can use the money to build more homes.”
The housing minister said the plan would “need legislation”, and was at present “just me saying I think this would be a smart thing to do”.
He added: “I should stress that it is absolutely nothing to do with your average council tenant – unless you earn �100,000.
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“I think people are fed up with people abusing the system, many people in Welwyn Hatfield will probably know someone who is on the waiting list.
“You’d like to think the housing was going to people who actually need it.”
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The move won a cautious welcome from former Welwyn Hatfield Tenants’ Panel chairman Dennis Hedges, who said: “Personally I don’t really know where I stand on that.
“If someone has done well for themselves living in a council house we can’t really hold that against them, but what do we do with getting people into the housing.”
Mr Hedges said of Mr Shapps “unofficially, I agree with him”.
Although Mr Shapps conceded he didn’t know how many people the clampdown would apply to, he listed Labour Party figures, on more than �100,000, who he said had used council housing.
The list included Lee Jasper, a former aide of ex-London mayor Ken Livingstone, who he said lived in state-subsidised social housing in a �750,000 home, despite trousering a �117,000 salary.