The UK Prime Minster David Cameron has come under fire after it was revealed that he has earned up to £500,000 in annual rent for his home in gentrified Notting Hill. He faces the criticism as Britain faces its biggest housing crisis in generations and he has himself admitted that he fears his own children could be priced out of the housing market.
According to the Daily Mirror, an almost identical property in the same upmarket area rents for £1,750 a week adding up to the total the politician could have demanded since he moved to publicly-financed 10 Downing Street in May 2010. Although it has not been made clear if the prime minister has received the amount in question.
According to research conducted just this week by the Guardian newspaper almost a third of MPs let their houses or flats and 196 declared rental income on the official register of interests this year. The majority earn more than £10,000 a year from their property interests adding to the basic MP's annual salary of £67,060.
The research stated that the Conservative party has the highest number of landlord MPs at 128, which means that 39% of Tory MPs act as landlords, compared with 26% of Scottish National Party MPs and 22% of Labour representatives.
'Social cleansing' accusation
This week Conservative MPs voted down an amendment that would require that landlords ensure rented properties were "fit for human habitation". The killing of the amendment has led to accusations that the Tories have opened the door to "retaliatory eviction" where the landlord is free to insist a tenant moves out of a rented property rather than bring a property up to a standard of habitation.
The bill will also see the introduction of "pay to stay" fees for residents of council housing who earn more than £30,000. Social housing tenancies will now be abolished and replaced with contracts that between two and five years leading to potential insecurity for residents. The Conservative Party has also announced a £140m investment to replace what it has called "sink estates" although this has received opposition from Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn who, according to sources within the party, sees the project as an introduction to "social cleansing".
The Conservative Party has also announced a £140m investment to replace what it has called "sink estates" although this has received opposition from Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn who, according to sources within the party, sees the project as an introduction to "social cleansing".
Cameron has also been accused of being out of touch with the real world after he described new £450,000 starter homes as being "affordable housing".
According to figures released by the Land Registry in October last year, the average price of a house in London now costs almost £500,000. Data from the Office of National Statistics shows the UK is experiencing the lowest levels of home ownership for 29 years.