Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Another bad day for Taxpayers

The 7 bedroom Ealing house which costs taxpayers £12,500 a month
Photo Copyright: News Group Newspapers

Today British taxpayers bailed out the banks to the tune of £50 billion. Inconceivable. Taxpayers also stumped up £4bn to compensate the savers of the Icelandic bank Icesave.

Even closer to my home BBC news reports that an Afghan mother and her 7 children has been housed at taxpayers expense in a 7 bedroom house in Ealing. The council has agreed a rent of £12,500 a month with the private landlord. Other homes in the upmarket street command rents less than half this. Ealing Council's website boasts its immediate priority is 'Value for Money'. What on earth has gone wrong - is it open season on taxpayer's cash?

At 8.45 tonight I emailed the Leader of Ealing Council Jason Stacey to express my dismay. Surprisingly and impressively he emailed back within the hour. He agrees this is 'not an acceptable situation' and forwards a copy of the Council's statement, issued after the Sun Newspaper broke the story.

It appears that changes in legislation mean that private landlords can now discover how much rent the Department of Work and Pensions will re-imburse and charge accordingly. With no other 7 bed properties available Ealing Council had no alternative but to pay the landlord's demand - £12,500 a month - or as the Sun puts it £170,000 a year in benefits for this one family. As Jason Stacey sums up 'the system in place does not reflect well on the Council, The Government and of course the taxpayer.'

It's been another bad day for taxpayers.

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