Cameron rejects call to correct private rents claim
David Cameron has refused to correct his claim that private sector rents are falling despite research carried out by Inside Housing that proves the opposite is true.
Shadow housing minister Jack Dromey raised the matter in parliament during prime minister’s questions today.
‘Both the prime minister and the housing minister have told us that rents are falling in the private rented sector when the evidence is that rents are rising, including from the most recent study from Inside Housing,’ he said.
‘Will the prime minister now take this opportunity to set the record straight?’
Mr Cameron did not answer the question. ‘I have to say coming from a party that saw house building fall to its lowest level since the 1920s I think I’ll take that with a lorry load of salt,’ he said.
Mr Cameron first claimed private rents were falling as a result of the welfare reforms introduced by the government during prime minister’s questions on 11 January.
The claim was widely disputed, prompting Inside Housing to send Freedom of Information Act requests to every English council asking if landlords in their area are reducing rents.
Of the 204 who responded just 36 reported there had been any reduction in rent in return for the changes to the way local housing allowance is paid.
Following the prime minister’s statement today Mr Dromey said: ‘David Cameron and his housing minister, Grant Shapps, are completely out of touch with families across the country who are struggling to pay rising rents and face an unprecedented squeeze on household incomes.
‘The prime minister has now had three opportunities to correct his statement. His failure to do so shows that not only is he out of touch with families everyday lives but he doesn’t appear to care.’