Tories and their media are LYING about Labour MP’s plan for councils to buy private houses

It’s incredible how the lying Tories and their press try to twist information to turn public opinion against good ideas.

The Sun, for example, is trying to push its readers into thinking Labour would “seize” private houses, buying them back into council ownership – and Tories like party deputy chairman James Cleverly are lying that these homes would be bought – not at market value – but at a price of Labour’s choosing.

They are claiming it is a Labour nationalisation scheme.

Drivel!

The newspaper’s article claimed that Labour would demand the mass compulsory purchase of council housing stock that has been sold into the private sector, along with houses that had always been intended for private owners. The facts don’t tally with this claim.

It is based on comments by Corbyn-supporting MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle at an anti-austerity event in London – but it does not directly quote him demanding lower-than-market-value purchases.

Instead, he is quoted as saying: “We need to develop a system that slowly over time takes property out of private hands and puts it into public hands.

“For example, why not give every council the first right of refusal with any houses put up for sale?”

The right of first refusal is not the right to compulsorily buy houses at a value that puts the current owners out-of-pocket.

And it isn’t a right to buy houses that aren’t already on the market.

Finally, this is not a Labour policy – it is an idea put forward by an individual MP.

So, when James Cleverly said, “Your home isn’t safe under Labour,” he was lying:

If you own your own home, you are far more likely to lose it under the Conservatives.

They have allowed the value of mortgages to rise above the ability of most young people – first-time buyers – to support them.

The “Help To Buy” scheme helps the rich – and people who already have homes – more than those for whom it is said to be intended.

And what about those of us who have to rent from private landlords?

Costs have rocketed while standards have plummeted. The Conservatives have ensured that many such dwellings are unfit for human occupation – and have voted down attempts to enforce their improvement.

Changes to the benefit system – the introduction of the Bedroom Tax (for those in social housing) and Universal Credit – mean people on benefits and in low-income employment are finding it hard, and extremely stressful, to maintain their rent payments. Many of them face eviction at least once – some on a regular basis.

Mr Russell-Moyle’s plan would restore the public housing stock – at least in part – without harming the finances of people selling the homes, and without demanding that people who don’t want to be rooted out of their homes should have to. And it would provide secure homes for people on low incomes.

That’s a big difference from the Tory way.

Isn’t it a better way?

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4 thoughts on “Tories and their media are LYING about Labour MP’s plan for councils to buy private houses

  1. Growing Flame

    Here is an opportunity for the newly-invigorated Labour Party to show how we differ from the recent past. How about we push for some serious housing policies which include compulsory purchase of properties that have been empty for a specific length of time? How about NOT bleating apologetically that we aren’t going to do what the Tories are falsely alleging and that we are nice , moderate people who aren’t going to do anything particularly drastic despite the massive housing problem in the country?

    Why not go on the offensive about the need to increase the stock of Social Housing and, also, that private renters should have the Right to Buy!

    Let’s face it, monsters like Trump, Bolsonaro in Brazil , Erdogan in Turkey and Salvini in Italy did not become powerful by presenting a “moderate, sensible, acceptable ” face. They just make increasingly grandiose statements of intent, invariably about ideas that appeal to impoverished working-class people. Trump boldly announces plans to bring back manufacturing jobs to the US. Nonsense, of course, but Erdogan really has been spending money on extending sewerage, fresh water and electricity into the poorest areas of the big cities and Salvini campaigned on lowering the pension age and increasing Social Security benefits.

    I know, I know, the Right-Wing press do not demand any financial justifications for this expenditure in the same way that they harrass the Labour Party for our relatively moderate plans. But the lesson is clear. Appeal to the needs and interest of the working -class and defy the Tory newspapers.

  2. Sandra Francis

    Stop mentioning the so-called ‘bedroom tax’ with reference to private landlords – it only affects people lucky enough to be in social housing. The problem is that private rents have soared so that even in a deprived area such as St Leonards where I live rents for anything at all decent are astronomical and even those with a reasonable income struggle to pay. For us the down-from-London people have skewed everything along with buy-to-letters who thought we were getting our own university (it was only an outpost of Brighton and is sadly closing) not their fault; the greed of others is to blame. Housing used to be cheap here; which drew artists, musicians, and others without defined salaries; now we all struggle

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I had not intended for that paragraph to be read as referring to private landlords alone, but I agree that this was not clear, so I’ve altered it.
      I’m glad you agree with my finding that costs for people in private rented accommodation are skyrocketing.

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