Westminster Labour Councillors have called on the Council to freeze the rents of Council tenants and small businesses.
In a letter to the Council, Councillor Guthrie McKie writes:
“We are approaching the time when the Council will announce the formula for increasing council rents for social housing tenants. In previous years there was a regulation formula that, with the intention of converging rents in the social housing sector, saw council housing rents increase in excess of inflation. This convergance formula has now been abolished and has been replaced with increases that equate to CPI + 1%.
In October 2014 there was a real increase in wages of 1.6% (this is the first real increase in 6 years). Many of our tenants who are working will be on low pay and will not have seen a real increase in their wages.
I would urge the Council to consider proposing no increase in Council rents as this will help those on low incomes begin to see real benefits in their standard of living. A zero increase in retail rents will also help small businesses at this difficult time.
The last annual account showed the HRA with a surplus of £108m. I believe this healthy position will allow the Council to carry out this proposal.”