Debt can increase the risk of tenants losing their homes. It can also affect landlords’ income, and in extreme cases it can jeopardise their investment in servicing their mortgage. For taxpayers, it means that money intended for housing benefit is being spent on other things. Essentially, that will add to the cost, as claimants will have to be rehoused.Paul, you may recall, is a property speculator and landlord, though he unaccountably never finds the time to mention this in his many speeches calling for lower taxes and more subsidies for people like him. Instead, he tries to dress up self-interest as compassion.
Almost all the expert witnesses who have given evidence to the Committee could see merit in a system where rent was paid directly to the landlord. The Citizens Advice Bureau, Crisis, the National Landlords Association, the Residential Landlords Association, Shelter and the British Property Federation can all see merit in that system. However, I am raising this issue mainly because a couple of my constituents have come to my surgery and said, “Look, we’re aware of our own limitations. We have no wish to get into trouble ourselves; we would actually prefer to have a situation where we could pay the landlord directly”. As a result of those concerns, and in view of the issues raised both today and by expert witnesses, would the Minister provide guidance?
Very impressive constituents: it's pretty hard getting to see Mr. Uppal: it's by appointment only and there's a long list of things he won't help with. I'm sure that hard-pressed council-house tenants turn to their MP first. Of course they do.
How delightful of Uppal to manage to add the British Property Federation to that long list of caring organisations. After all, they see him as their man: 'Whom To Know' and make sure that the Urban Development Group toes their line:
Uppal was appointed in July to chair the All Party Urban Development Group, which has been lent administrative support by the British Property Foundation and informs government about the role of property in the wider economy. He will chair his second meeting at the end of the month, and wants a cross-party consensus about imposing a moratorium on empty rates.
Uppal, who owns £10m of property in the south-east with Pinehurst Securities, says he went for the British Property Federation role because he understands the politics of property.
“I would like to help change the face of property,” he says. “It doesn’t get a good press, and the industry doesn’t bang the drum hard enough about its role in the wider economy.”
To these people, their capitalists when it suits and socialists when required. Uppal and his paymasters don't care about the poor (or they'd reduce rents): they just want the flow of taxpayers money to continue gushing.