This is a new bill that is being proposed by the Tories in their latest punishing deal on housing for hard working Londoners.
Contrary to what the party continuously told us during the 2015 elections “we want to reward hard work” it would seem that with this bill tagged “pay to stay”, what the Conservatives want to do is penalize hard work. Whether the household has 1 working adult earning £40,000 and over or 2 adults jointly earning that amount, the government proposes to scrap council rates which averages £600 in London and impose the market value of £1,500. For people living outside London, the cap is to be set at £30,000.
Bizarrely, the difference rather than going to the council will instead go to the government treasury.
Many caught up in this net are families with young children already paying exhorbitant nursery and childcare expenses alongside other bills.
According to the London Tenants Federation, a family with an income of £40,000 paying an average market rent in London will be £11,963 worse off than if earning just less than £40,000. The chancellor, George Osborne, estimates that pay to stay will save the government £250m a year and affect 10% of social housing tenants.
Affected families will either have to fork out over £10,000 extra in rent even if their pay comes to just £41,000 or opt to take up lower paid employment or stop working altogether to qualify for lower social housing rates.
However, Tory mayoral Candidate Zac Goldsmith said: “I’m not going to tell you… that £40,000 joint earnings for a couple is a high salary. In part of the world it is. In London it ain’t.
In a recent interview, he said although he supports the principle of the new Pay to Stay policy, the £40,000 London threshold “is not a high income in the London context”.
A statement released by an aide of the Tory top hitter said “Zac believes it is important that Pay to Stay was “set at the right level for London”.
“As mayor, Zac would want to ensure the level and effect of Pay to Stay was kept carefully under review by the government,” the statement added.
Mr Goldsmith’s comments suggest if elected as Conservative mayor of London, he would be on a collision course with government over one of its key social housing policies.