Why Cameron knows nothing and cares less about council house tenants

Never has David Cameron displayed his lack of understanding of council and social housing tenants more than in the appalling idea of time-limiting social housing tenancies. My parents moved into a new council house in 1965 and I was brought up there. It was our home. Our family wanted a secure place from which to plan our future. That is not unusual for anyone – whether they live in rented or bought accommodation.

If my parents had been told they could be evicted after five years of the tenancy, it would have immediately cast a shadow on the family’s security. No longer would they have been able to plan work and education for their children. Their focus would have been: “where will we be living next?”

Would David Cameron countenance this arrangement for his own family?

It tells us a great deal that the prime minister’s response to shortage of social housing is to limit the rights of those in occupation of social housing. A more explicable option would be to stop the sale of council housing. This directly removes homes from public sector stock and makes fewer homes available for those in need. But I suspect that this would not be acceptable to David Cameron’s political antennae – alienating his restless back-benchers.

Instead, our prime minister chooses an easier target: those in desperate need of homes who will accept a roof over their heads at any cost. Time-limited tenancies will create uncertainty and store up problems for families in years ahead. It tells us much about the political instincts of this Tory/Lib-Dem government.

Ian Lucas is the MP for Wrexham

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