Tories accused of continuing destructive tradition of Margaret Thatcher over “politically illiterate” policy

housingUnions have condemned Tory plans to sell off council housing under the right to buy scheme.

UCATT general secretary Steve Murphy said: “This proposal is politically illiterate, the promise to build one for one replacement homes is as hollow as the Conservative’s commitment to protect the NHS.

“The Right to Buy sales have generated receipts of £1.54 billion of which just £588.3 million is to be invested in new homes. A quarter of the money (£358 million) has gone straight into government coffers and £368 million was used to repay council’s historic housing debt.

“We are facing a housing crisis due to a lack of housing available for social rent, only a political pygmy would believe that the way to resolve that problem is by selling off an already scarce resource.

“This demonstrates just how out of touch the Conservatives are. Many housing association tenants are far more concerned with the day to day struggle of trying to make ends meet and provide a decent living for their families, rather than jumping into thousands of pounds of debt by buying their home.

“This shows just how extreme this Conservative Party has become, in the past they have tried to bribe voters by selling off the family silver. Today they are trying to bribe the electorate by selling off someone else’s silver. These properties are not owned by the government.”

ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan said: “The Tories are having a laugh when they say they are the party of working people. The Tories are a party for toffs, a party formed by the boss class to keep workers in their place.

“By extending the ‘right to buy’, as he calls it, to housing association tenants in England, David Cameron is continuing the destructive tradition of Margaret Thatcher by making it much harder for ordinary people to find somewhere to live.

“Because the Tories, between 1979 and 1997, destroyed the public rented sector in this country. That’s why so many people find it so hard to find somewhere to live.

“Very little public housing has been built in Britain – the money from council house sales was siphoned off – private sector rents have soared as have the prices of privately-owned properties creating another bubble which is bound to burst soon.

“If we want to rebuild Britain, we need a Labour government on 7 May.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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