A Labour MP has told the House of Commons that she is in favour of a tax regime that would reward landlords willing to commit to longer tenancies.
Meg Hillier, chair of the Public Accounts Committee for the past 17 months and MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch since 2005, last week produced the idea in a question to Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke.
Hillier is a former shadow Home Office minister but has not had any direct government or shadow responsbilities for housing.
However, she asked this question:
“More people in my constituency rent privately than own their own homes and for most of them ownership is a distant or impossible dream. Are the Government considering looking at the supply of private rented housing on longer tenures, perhaps with rent guarantees, and possibly using tax reliefs or other mechanisms the Treasury has in its armoury, to encourage landlords to provide those longer term tenancies and better security for the many private rented sector tenants?”
Gauke’s response agreed that “there is a need for flexibility in terms of tenure” but did not go into further detail nor commit the government to any action. It concentrated instead of reiterating housing policies set out in last month’s Autumn Statement on “building more homes in this country, which is what we need.”