Ipswich: Gummer launches furious attack on council rent rise

Ben Gummer attacked the rent increase. Ben Gummer attacked the rent increase.

Thursday, January 30, 2014
6:00 AM

Ipswich Conservative MP Ben Gummer last night launched a furious attack on the Labour-run borough council, accusing it of “Ripping off the working poor” as it put up council rents by nearly three times the rate of inflation.

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The borough council had voted to increase rents by 5.5% in line with a formula devised by the government.

However Mr Gummer insisted there was no need to put up rents that high. He said: “This rise as outrageous. The Labour group is subsidising their own political ambitions off the backs of those who can afford it least.”

He said there was no requirement to increase rents so much and a new government formula was being introduced next year.

If this had been applied by the council rents would have gone up by 3.2% rather than 5.5%. The average increase for tenants will be about £4.40 a week – £230 a year.

Other Labour councils were putting up rents considerably less than Ipswich – Doncaster had increased rents by 3.7% and Ealing had not put up rents at all. The current inflation rate is 2%.

Mr Gummer added: “The council talks about the cost of living and yet at a time when they could have helped those who need it most, they recommend this inflation-busting rise.

“£230 may not be a lot for Labour councillors living in homes that they own but it is a great deal for some of the people they and I represent.”

During the debate council leader – and Mr Gummer’s challenger at the next general election – David Ellesmere had defended the rise and launched a stinging attack on his Tory critics.

He said: “We are following the guidelines of a Conservative and Liberal Democrat government, and those parties are attacking us.

“The recommended rise is being lowered next year, and we shall go along with that. We would have gone along with that if it had been recommended this year, but it wasn’t.”

He pointed out that both Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils, which are both led by Conservatives, are putting up their rents by a much higher rate than Ipswich.

“And during their last year in administration here the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats put up rents by 6.4%. They really cannot have it both ways,” he added.

The council decided to put up its rents for 8,200 tenants across the town – although most will not have to pay the full increase.

Only about a third of its tenants pay the full rent, the remainder receive housing benefit which goes towards the cost of their rents.

33 comments

  • This hypocrite has already shown how concerned he is by the plight of the working poor by his vote to stifle debate and enquiries into the use of foodbanks.

    Report this comment

    John Shirley

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • No doubt, there's a large bunch of naive fools commenting here who stupidly believe that Labour are the party of the working classes and it's all the fault of posh Tories, backed up by the sell out LibDems? How foolish you are! They all fleecing the poor to pay for the rich. Every government persecutes the poor. Every government looks after big business and the rich. The difference is Labour want to keep you poor so you'll vote for them, because you are naive and stupid enough to think they help the poor! The Tories just want to kick the poor, but expect you to be enterprising and provide minimum services for minimum tax; so the assumption is the rich get richer and rich people are naive enough to believe that as well. Have you never heard that saying - "It don't matter who you vote for, they're all the same!" - It's true; just ask all the millionaires on the front benches in Westminster. Stay stupid people!

    Report this comment

    Mister Cynical

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • An Extra £230 a year,,,,Big deal! ,,That's a 3rd of what i pay monthly!!! But Remember we are all in this together!!!

    Report this comment

    Shed Kev

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Coming from the same Ben Gummer who voted against a Commons Debate on Food Banks

    Report this comment

    bconnelly55

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • This doesn't seem fair on the 2800 that are paying full rent as they are probaly living next door to somebody on housing benefit who won't be affected as much. I can see why D O has said she would be better off on benefits as this is another reason people find themselves better off not working. The government needs to give better incentives to work as i am convinced that most people would rather work than sit at home claiming benefits.

    Report this comment

    royg

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • I am one of the 2800 tenants who pay full rent, but cannot afford to privately rent. The reason being is that my husband and I have a disabled child. My husband is on quite a low wage, but just enough for us to get by on, and I'm not in employment and I am raising our children...BUT never once have we claimed benefits, ( even though we would probably be better off if we did ). I have no problem with the rent increase, as I realise it is still very low compared to what other peoples outgoing are, but don't assume just because we pay full rent means we could live in a private house, because at the moment that is way beyond our means.

    Report this comment

    D O

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Methink's young Gummer do'th protest too much !, the amount of funding the Council receives from Central Government is falling !, so IBC have to make up that shortfall somehow !, meanwhile Cameron could not even say in the House of Commons yesterday that he WON'T decrease the top rate of tax to 40 pence in the pound !!!

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Interesting information (for once). I have found out that there is a general election around the corner... which explains Ben Gummer trying to look good to be voted in again. How people fool for this, I will never know. Still no show of hands of who actually voted the Conservative candidate to become MP.

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Why are people poor ????...Its because the conservatives made us poor ....

    Report this comment

    ukmartian

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • somewhere in the region of 2800 tenants will pay the full increase, this I assume is due to the fact their income is sufficient for them to pay rent, surely all this is doing for them is questioning as to whether they should live in council housing or private rental properties, thus leaving council houses for those with no money. Those people living in council houses who will not pay the full increase will no doubt be subsidised by the benefits system in the way of housing benefit. The council gets the rent to improve stock and the government pay for it in a roundabout way. Don't think Mr Gummer should complain , surely he should have got his people to change the method of calculation sooner and avised councils quicker, shows ineptness of Tory Lib Dem government, perhaps??

    Report this comment

    Footyfan

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • There is only one word to describe Mr Gummer (and his cohorts). That I can use on a public forum anyway. Hypocrite. Indeed he did stand by and nod his head sagely when the ToryLibDem administration put the Rents up 6.6% in a year when, if memory serves, RPI went down on previous year. Anybody thinking of voting for him next election should take special note of this article. Mind you, not sure of the alternatives...

    Report this comment

    Locks69

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Coming from the same Ben Gummer who voted against a Commons Debate on Food Banks

    Report this comment

    bconnelly55

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • The Tories are not just ripping off the working poor, but also the middle classes, whilst protecting their high-earning friends in the city? Hypocrite - learnt it at his father's knee.

    Report this comment

    spacktard

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • It's funny how these council & housing association tenant's can afford to run a car , ,pay to rent a mobile phone , rent satellite television , yet they can't afford to pay their rent ,, the roof over your head come first in my book

    Report this comment

    MIGUEL100

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • No doubt, there's a large bunch of naive fools commenting here who stupidly believe that Labour are the party of the working classes and it's all the fault of posh Tories, backed up by the sell out LibDems? How foolish you are! They all fleecing the poor to pay for the rich. Every government persecutes the poor. Every government looks after big business and the rich. The difference is Labour want to keep you poor so you'll vote for them, because you are naive and stupid enough to think they help the poor! The Tories just want to kick the poor, but expect you to be enterprising and provide minimum services for minimum tax; so the assumption is the rich get richer and rich people are naive enough to believe that as well. Have you never heard that saying - "It don't matter who you vote for, they're all the same!" - It's true; just ask all the millionaires on the front benches in Westminster. Stay stupid people!

    Report this comment

    Mister Cynical

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Mr Gummer's agenda is clear. He'd prefer the Council not to be able to fund the building of new houses so that his rich mates who can afford to buy multiple houses can continue to fleece the poor with private rents that are infinitely higher than council rents.

    Report this comment

    IpswichBornAndBred

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Saying that council tenants paying full rate should rent privately just shows how out of touch some people are.

    Report this comment

    Esco Fiasco

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Why are people poor ????...Its because the conservatives made us poor ....

    Report this comment

    ukmartian

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • I wish he would be as worried about private rents which seem to be spiralling upwards at enormous speed. Landlords are allowed to charge what they want. The government should put a cap on it before rents get so expensive the cannot be afforded.

    Report this comment

    N M

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Interesting information (for once). I have found out that there is a general election around the corner... which explains Ben Gummer trying to look good to be voted in again. How people fool for this, I will never know. Still no show of hands of who actually voted the Conservative candidate to become MP.

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Why are people poor ????...Its because the conservatives made us poor ....

    Report this comment

    ukmartian

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Don't know where else I can post this but please be WARNED....!!!!! My dear old dad died recently. He had been paying in to an insurance plan which we know is less than £800.....when arranging his burial ( his wish ) I was absolutely shocked to find that Ipswich Council charge £1800 for a plot in the cemetery and to dig the hole..????? With the second cheapest coffin and one car the total cost is over £5300...so get your funeral arrangements in order...because the council will MAKE money out of you even after you die.

    Report this comment

    waspie

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Suggesting those tenants who pay full council rent can then afford private renting is just foolish. Just because it is lower than private rents doesn't mean some don't struggle to find the weekly cost. Ever heard the term "working poor". It applies to all sections even those paying a lower council rent.

    Report this comment

    K Mcc

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Not sure why Gummer can only compare the local increases with the proposals of (some) other labour councils. Why not compare Ipswich with other councils in Suffolk or East Anglia? I don't know how the increases compare but it would be an honest approach, a concept Gummer does not seem to understand. Who is he trying to impress?

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • yes planeman they must have missed your comment [ well done]

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • I'm glad I don't have Mr Gummer's nerve in my tooth! His Govt have just tabled a new law which includes a reduction in the length of time someone must be in a council house before they can exercise the Right to Buy. So eventually there will be less council houses for those who need them and they will, instead, be pushed into the ever-growing sector of private landlords; and definitely no cheap rents there! I share the frustration of people on here. Who would vote for another Govt like this one! Perhaps we should our politicians on work experience to the Ukraine.

    Report this comment

    skrich

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • If, to quote the story, "most will not have to pay the full increase" and "only about a third pay full rent", who realistically will be paying for this increase I wonder?!

    Report this comment

    MZH

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Exactly MZH .

    Report this comment

    Heather

    Sunday, February 2, 2014

  • bet most of the tenants voted the new labour council in so you get back what you sow

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • 6.4% - apologies.

    Report this comment

    Locks69

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Rent rises in social housing have an adverse effect as stated most people don't pay their rent so it's the tax payer who actually ends up paying more in increased housing benefits. I live in IBC property and while the rent is lower than private sector since the 2010-2011 tax year the rent has increased by around 20% in real terms now that's a lot if your low paid. Labour meant to be for the working class, well I don't think so as its only this government who have decreased income taxes for the low paid! Oh and on the subject of people being able to afford private rents, get over it, people are just jealous. I like my council property and yes I can buy a big home today as I'm fortunate enough to have enough in the bank for multiple houses but why should I move out of my home that I'm paying rent for. Why pay more then you need to.

    Report this comment

    mr_tall

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Rents wouldn't go up so much if we didn't have to pay for layabout families with 12 kids to have their home converted or to have to pay out for all the immigrants to be housed when the rest of us have to pay our own way. Mind you I know you won't publish this comment because you are to gutless to publish the facts!!

    Report this comment

    planeman

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • typical gummer, if it had of been a conservative council he wouldnt say a word...... hold on.. David Ellesmere already pointed this out "He pointed out that both Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils, which are both led by Conservatives, are putting up their rents by a much higher rate than Ipswich." LMAO blood conservs, what does gummer have to say about them?????? douche

    Report this comment

    watching it go down the pan

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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