John McDonnell calls for year-long rent freeze for all tenants in England

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Former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has called on Rishi Sunak to put a one-year rent moratorium on rent for all public and private sector tenants in England in the autumn budget.

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The senior Labor figure said the measure would relieve pressure on households amid rising energy bills, rising rents and last week’s controversial cuts in universal credit payments for some of the lowest payments in Britain.

His intervention comes as Chancellor Mr. Sunak prepares to deliver an autumn budget and spending review on 27 October, after failing to reject further tax increases at a Conservative Party convention.


Mr McDonnell, a key figure during the party’s leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, said the one-year freeze should apply to all tenants, including private landlords and housing associations or councils.

An analysis earlier this week showed that the proportion of private renters in arrears had doubled to nearly 780,000 during the Covid pandemic, with seven per cent behind on payments between April and May 2021.

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Separate data released by the government also showed that around 191,000 tenants who received Universal Credit were two or more months behind in paying rent between April and May 2021.

“Universal debt cuts, rising energy prices and record rent hikes leave many families with anxiety and hardship,” McDonnell said.

“It is a really difficult and uncertain time for so many people. Withholding rents will relieve many of them from the major strain on their household budgets this Christmas and give them more security that they can afford to have a good roof over their heads.

“It will also help in the economic recovery from Covid while maintaining demand in our economy.”

pointing to research from Homelet Rental Index Showing in September that the average rent in the UK is now at a record high of £1,061 – 7.5 per cent over the same time last year – Mr McDonnell’s office said a rent freeze would cost all homes between £1.2bn and £4.5bn. can save. bn.

He said that in Liverpool, for example, more than 120,000 private renters pay around £1.2 billion a year, with rent freezes in the city area saving between £24 million and £95 million. Is.

During the autumn of 2020, London Mayor Sadiq Khan urged the Community Secretary to give the capital the power to freeze private rents, warning of a “tsunami of evictions” when the government’s moratorium on evictions ends.


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