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No “pay to stay” for Islington Council tenants

Islington Council tenants will not have to pay the Government’s tenant tax after it was rejected by the council’s Executive.

The tenant tax, also known as ‘pay to stay’, was introduced as part of the Housing Act and would have forced the council to collect additional rent from anyone earning over £40,000 a year from April 2017.

On Monday (21 November) housing minister Gavin Barwell announced a government u-turn saying he had listened to the views of tenants and councils, and that pay to stay is no longer compulsory. This means that councils and housing associations can decide if they want to introduce it. At its meeting on Thursday evening (24 November) Islington Council’s Executive formally decided not to introduce “pay to stay”.

To show how the tenant tax would affect the local community, Islington Council gave evidence to the Bill Committee in November/December 2015, held a well-attended public meeting in March 2016 at the Town Hall for tenants, and in June 2016 a motion was passed at full council to offer advice and information to tenants about the tenant tax and to continue to make representations to government on the damage it would cause.

Executive member for housing and development, Cllr Diarmaid Ward, said:
“The tenant tax was unfair, and the council opposed it from the outset. Forcing working people to pay more tax simply because they are council tenants is wrong. I am sure that our tenants will welcome the news that Islington Council will not be implementing it.

“This is very good news indeed – but there are still other aspects of the Housing Act that cause great concern and that we will continue to campaign against. This includes the Government banning lifetime tenancies, and forcing councils to sell off hundreds of much-needed council homes every year. I hope the minister will now reflect on these aspects of the Act too.”

For more information contact:

Sian Williams
Deputy Head of Strategy and Communications
020 7527 3376
sian.williams@islington.gov.uk

Notes to editors

A copy of the Executive report can be found here: http://democracy.islington.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=141&MId=2869&Ver=4