Mike Gapes slammed the rising cost of Private Rents and attacked the complacent weasel words of the Conservative /Liberal Democrat government in questions in Parliament on Monday 20 January.
Mike Gapes (Ilford South) (Lab/Co-op): What assessment he has made of recent trends in the level of private rents.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Kris Hopkins): The Office for National Statistics’ latest figures show that rents are falling in real terms; in England they have risen by just 1.1%, which is well below the rate of inflation.
Mike Gapes: I do not know whether the Minister has got some figures for London, but I can tell him that private rents are going up here. They are rising consistently, particularly in outer London, as a result of Government policy. It has also been revealed that 36% of properties sold under the right to buy in London are now in the hands of private landlords, who are charging extortionate private rents. What more are the Government going to do about it, instead of using complacent weasel words such as we just heard?
Kris Hopkins: I do have the figures for London actually. The ONS clearly states that rents in London have risen by 1.9%, which is still below inflation. Those are the figures on actual rents paid, as opposed to advertised rates—they are what often fill our newspapers. This Government are absolutely committed to right to buy. We want to encourage as many people as possible to own their own house, and that is the right thing to do.