Once more the Labour Council in Barnsley is robbing the poor to pay for the excesses of the rich.
Last year’s 8.7 per cent increase in council house rents was nodded through by Labour councillors. A year on and council house tenants are receiving letters to tell them that their rents are to be increased by yet another inflation busting 9.42 per cent.
The letter will tell them the increase is based on ‘government guidelines’. We expect a Tory government to take from the poor but what the hell is the Labour Party doing to defend the people for whom the party was created to represent? Absolutely nothing. On the contrary, they are acting as agents of Tory ideology, which is to abolish social housing altogether and to create a laissez-faire market for rents that will inevitably lead to homelessness.
The Tories are hell bent on ridding the country of social housing by raising council rents to the same level as private landlords. On top of this the Tories are to cap benefits, which will mean families will no longer be able to afford to pay the rents their private landlord demands and will not be able to recoup the increase through benefits.What the government should be doing is capping rents.
But then they ought to be capping the obscene earnings of bankers, company executives, Premiership footballers and other celebrities, not the public workers that our society depends upon. We know from history what to expect from a Tory government but it appears that we can expect much of the same from the Labour Party.
There is little wonder that people are staying away from the polling booths.Your readers must have noticed that however much your correspondents challenge local councillors and council officers, they simply do not respond. Recent issues such as the chief executive being ousted; Barnsley Black and Ethnic Minority Initiative being dropped by the council; decisions being taken at odds with the local people they affect; the lack of support for communities, groups and charities (except VAB). All have been raised in recent letters to the Chronicle and we have had no response.Barnsley Council does not have to adhere to ‘government guidelines’.
It may well get government funding for doing so, as it will for not increasing the council tax this year, but that funding will be a one-off payment and where will the council get the shortfall from next year?
From the same people who are paying for it this year through an increase in council tax, a further hike in council house rents and further cuts to services as the bulk of public sector job losses will then be made. Keir Hardie must be spinning in his grave.