Healey's offer 'just not good enough'

By on 25/03/2010 in News

Councillor John Lines, Cabinet Member for Housing, has responded to Housing Minister John Healey’s announcement to reform housing finance, saying behind the deal,  lies extra debt.

Cllr John Lines said, “After many years of long and hard lobbying I’m glad the government has finally acknowledged that the Housing Revenue Account subsidy system is flawed.

“Sadly, I’m not convinced by Mr Healey’s deal because we will still be saddled with extra debt which is £3.65 billion nationally. This equates to £2000 per property nationally if it was shared equally and frankly this just isn’t good enough.

“I’m disappointed that the new proposed settlement involves a sharing of extra debt, which is something Birmingham could certainly do without in the recession.

“Our current debt includes £150 million prudential borrowing, money we’ve been forced to borrow so we could fund our decent homes programme. If we’d been allowed to keep our Right to Buy receipts since 2004/5 we would not be in this position, and this is something Mr Healey should take into account for all retained stock councils.”

Ends

Further information from Belinder Kaur Lidher on 0121 303 6969

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