Isn’t it typical of the Tories that they’re happy to nod through possibly corrupt funding of Boris Johnson’s flat redecoration, but won’t protect people in blocks of flats from fires like that at Grenfell Tower?
They have just been knocked back – yet again – by the House of Lords, who have voted to shield residents of tower blocks from fire safety costs.
MPs had rejected the Lords amendment but, after their fourth defeat on this subject, it will now be reinserted into the bill.
The bill modifies a previous law to clarify that building owners must manage and reduce the risk of fire in their properties.
However, last week the House of Lords added an amendment which sought to ensure building owners do not pass on the costs to leaseholders and tenants until a support scheme is in place.
Housing minister Chris Pincher described the amendment as “ineffective and defective”, claiming that it would prevent any remediation costs from being passed to the leaseholder, even in instances where the cost was very minor – such as replacing a smoke alarm.
As a tenant in a rented property myself, I can inform Mr Pincher that my landlord pays for the cost of replacing the smoke alarm here as a matter of course.
It should not be used as an excuse to continue denying tower block tenants improvements that could save their lives.
And it could – because there are only hours left before the end of the current Parliamentary session, when the Bill will be dropped – unless the Tories decide to carry it over to the next session (which seems unlikely to This Writer).
All of this takes place in the shadow of the row over prime minister Boris Johnson’s own flat. Who pays to replace the smoke alarm there?
Tory MPs would have been happy to let £200,000 be paid, just to redecorate the rooms above 11 Downing Street, with no questions asked.
But members of the public have pointed out that this means they are happier for huge amounts to be paid on a single person’s flat – if that person happens to be one of them – than for cash to be spent on potentially life-saving work for many people.
Boris Johnson and #CarrieAntoinette should pay back every penny into a highly flammable cladding removal fund.
— Northern Independence Party 🟨🟥 (@FreeNorthNow) April 29, 2021
— Malcolm Tucker 🏴☠️ (@Tucker5law) April 28, 2021
That’s not a good attitude to have with an election next week.
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