Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/927/24028
From The Socialist newspaper, 30 November 2016
Fight to make letting agent fee ban reality
photo Paul Mison/Creative Commons (Click to enlarge)
Mary Finch, Private tenant
The Tories' 2016 Autumn Statement announced plans to ban letting agent fees in England - a move which young people and workers will surely welcome.
Resistance to Tory government and Labour council attacks on housing has been building for years - from the Focus E15 mums to the more recent victory on the Butterfields estate. Undoubtedly these campaigns have played a part in this decision.
But so has the weakness and unpopularity of the Tories in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. As housing campaigners and other groups such as the junior doctors have shown, the mood is turning against them.
Workers are getting organised, and the Tories see the danger of these pockets of resistance coming together to form a mass movement against austerity.
May calculates that a rhetorical shift towards populist policies could undercut this - and it is purely rhetorical. Both Philip Hammond, the present chancellor, and Theresa May, voted against a proposed law in 2014 that would have made letting agent fees illegal.
No date has been set for the abolition of letting agent fees. And there's been no mention of rent controls, or any other intervention to make renting affordable and stable. The Tories have no real intentions of improving the lives of workers.
But that's no reason to despair: we have the power to change that situation. This announcement shows the Tories are weak, and the wrangling over Brexit shows they are divided.
A united movement of workers and young people, including protests and strikes, could easily force them further back. With clear demands for rent controls and a mass programme of council house building - we can win!
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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
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In The Socialist 30 November 2016:
Fight for workers' democracy in Cuba
Socialist Party news and analysis
Time to fight low pay
Hands off our NHS!
Hunger strikes, suicides - end detention now
Women bear 85% of benefit cuts
Fight to make letting agent fee ban reality
Hospital admissions for malnutrition rise threefold
Them & Us: Autumn Statement special!
What We Saw
What we think
Brexit spin: demand a real workers' exit
The housing crisis - a toxic issue for the Tories
Homelessness - capitalism is destroying people's lives
Fight the cuts - victims of domestic abuse depend on it
Workplace news and analysis
London Crossrail workers walk out
Durham teaching assistants determined to win
Strike action across London and South East rail network
Protest to demand pay rise for Sheffield
Young workers in Leeds socialise and mobilise at Unison young workers gig
The fight in Labour
Support the campaign to readmit expelled trade union militants
Conference to debate TUSC's role now and the 2017 elections
Labour Party branch votes for reselection
Southampton Labour councillors vote through more cuts
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Sheffield for sale!
Hands off HRI charts way forward
Reclaim the Night solidarity march
Repeal the 8th protest for abortion rights
Leicester playground protest
Socialist readers' comments and reviews
Readmit expelled socialists: a proven record of fighting back
The Socialist Inbox
International socialist news and analysis
Spain: militant struggle by Students Union succeeds
The Socialist 30 November 2016 |
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