FOR HOUSING BENEFIT SHOWS LANDLORDS ARE THE REAL WINNERS FROM
BILLIONS going into fat
cats wallets and off shore tax havens from housing benefit would be
better spent building houses and homes for working people says GMB.
A new GMB study, published on 24 February 2014, has shown that the Top 20
Landlords in each of the 39 Councils in North West that receive
housing benefit direct from Councils for tenants renting their
In the region there are 219,536 households renting private
accommodation and entitled to house benefit. This study covers where
it is paid direct to company landlords not private individual
landlords. See notes to editors for Councils in the region for the
latest available figures for the number of private rented households
and the number and % of housing benefit recipients in the private
Some firms receiving large sums in North
West are as follows:-
European Wellcare Lifestyles Ltd - £710,000 from Liverpool. Part of
European Care Group. Parent company Esquire Group Investment
(Holdings) Ltd based in the British Virgin Islands as are another 5
companies within the group. 4 other group companies are based in
Stockton Flats - Over £1.7m in
total from Councils in North East, North West and North Yorkshire.
£618,000 from Blackpool.
Grainger Residential Management /
PHA Ltd / Grip Nomco 1 & 2 - £1.2m across 16 districts. Part of
Grainger PLC with fixed assets of £618m, current assets of £1bn and
turnover of £283m. In 2013 own 13,353 units with a market value of
£1.8bn. They manage 8,216 units with market value of £953m. £316,000
from Liverpool, £36,000 from Stockport
Associated Property Owners Ltd –
£89,000 from Bury. Directors are Lady Diana Errington, Robin
Errington, Anne Errington, David Errington, Stuart Errington and
William Saville. Directors of the parent company, Associated
Property Holdings Ltd, include Sir Geoffrey Errington (2nd Baronet
Errington, of Ness). Son of Sir Eric Errington, conservative MP from
1935-1945 (Bootle), 1954-1970 (Aldershot).
Tame Estates - £225,000 from
Tameside and £106,000 from Oldham
Perth Estates - £68,000 from
Tameside. One of the directors, David McDonald, stood as a
conservative candidate for the Failsworth East ward in Oldham in the
2010 local elections.
Sutton Estates Ltd - £1.36m from
Rehman Property Consultants -
£915,000 from Burnley
Madina Property Services Ltd -
£807,000 from Manchester
Kaye McKensie Property Management
- £645,000 from Manchester
Valley Estates - £357,000 from
Northwood - National lettings
Agency getting over £2.3m nationally. £151,000 from Cheshire West
and Chester, £54,000 from Carlisle, £83,000 from Lancaster, £105,000
from Manchester and £135,000 from Cheshire East.
Taxpayer's cash pays the rent to
private landlords for 1.65 m privately owned dwelling in Great
Britain. Paying housing benefits to meet housing costs for rented
accommodation for tenants on low incomes dates the 1980s. The cost
has ballooned to £23 billion per year. While over the past 30 years
some £411billions of taxpayer's funds have been spent on housing
benefit it is not clear who the ultimate recipients are.
For 30% of tenants entitled to housing benefit the cash is paid
direct to landlords. To establish the identity of these landlords
GMB carried out research at the Land Registry to establish the
beneficial owners of properties and Freedom of Information requests
were made to Councils to establish the amounts paid to them. The
ultimate recipients of housing benefit and amounts were disclosed by
Councils where the landlords are companies. The ultimate recipients
of housing benefit and amounts were not disclosed where the monies
are paid to tenants or where landlords are individuals. 69 Councils
refused to disclose any information. GMB is inviting local media and
politicians to follow up on the study and fill in the gaps.
Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary, said:- "This research lifts
the lid on the mainly secret payments to landlords who are the real
winners from Britain's welfare system. We see taxpayers cash
subsidising buy-to-let empires where the money ends up tax free in
The research shows the rich and powerful sucking up taxpayer's money
through housing benefit. This is made possible by out of control
rents and a lack of affordable and Council homes that so many hard
working people and their families desperately need.
This should bring both shame and action from this government to end
this exploitation of public money.
These billions going into fat cats wallets and off shore tax havens
would be better spent building houses and homes for real working
people. Shovelling millions of pounds to the likes of castle owning
barons, whilst so many either wait for a home or have to pay
exorbitant rents, is a public scandal. It is also bad economics for
the nation. See at foot of the national release on GMB
a pdf with names of some castle owning barons, the amount they
receive and pictures of the castles.
It is disgraceful that 69 Councils refused to reveal the companies
they paid huge sums to. Every Council has refused to disclose the
names of private landlords they pay huge sums to without scrutiny."
THE North West's Liberal
Democrat MEP has challenged his UKIP opposite number to a series of
public debates across the region in the run up to May's European
Chris Davies is asking business and voluntary groups in Southport to
take a lead in organising the events which he claims will highlight
the key issues of the campaign.
He has called on UKIP MEP Paul Nuttall to join with him in giving
local people the chance to hear their different views about
Britain's membership of the European Union before they cast their votes.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage has already agreed to debate the issues
with Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader and deputy prime
But Davies says that the national exchange should be matched by
debates between the rival candidates in towns and cities across the
The MEP says he is waiting to hear Paul Nuttall's response to his
challenge but claims that their contest could inject more interest
into the election battle.
He said:- "The contrast between the views of Liberal Democrats
and UKIP could hardly be greater. We are almost diametrically
opposed in our attitude towards Britain in Europe.
I believe that UKIP will put jobs at risk, reduce Britain's
influence over decisions that will affect us, and weaken our ability
to promote the values we hold dear.
Paul Nuttall gets away with talking nonsense about the EU because he
is too rarely challenged. I'm throwing down the gauntlet and
inviting him to pick it up. Let's see if his views can stand the
test of public scrutiny." Davies says he would welcome invitations from local groups who are
prepared to host a debate between the MEPs. He can be contacted at:-
services North West's top-performing
PATIENTS in Sefton and West
Lancashire are benefitting from the Top Performing A&E departments
in the North West.
Staff providing A&E services for adults and children at Southport
and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust were also the 7th
best-performing in England, according to Department of Health
figures for October to December 2013.
The figures show 97.7% of patients attending A&E were treated,
discharged or admitted to a bed within four hours.
The Trust provides adult A&E services at Southport hospital,
children's services at Ormskirk hospital as well as urgent care at
Skelmersdale Walk-in Centre and West Lancashire Health Centre in
Ormskirk. "This is a terrific achievement by staff who have ensured
patients are seen, assessed and treated as soon as possible, receive
diagnostic tests promptly, are then cared for and returned home. All this has been achieved at a time when demand for urgent
and long-term care has risen to unprecedented levels. I know
patients and families will want to join me in thanking all our staff
for this fantastic achievement on their behalf.
It is important too to remember this is a collective achievement for
the local NHS. We have been working for more than a year now with
GPs, local authorities, the ambulance service and voluntary groups
on a programme called Care Closer to Home to better meet patients'
needs. Extra funding in the autumn from the Department of Health
helped us accelerate Care Closer to Home which is developing
services and support systems that keep patients safe at home and
avoid unnecessary admissions to hospitals." said Chief Executive Jonathan Parry.
In November the Trust also opened a short stay ward for frailer
elderly patients where these patients' specialist needs can be
better met so they can return home from hospital more quickly.
CRACKDOWN ON RETAIL CRIME
MERSEYSIDE Police Officers
have arrested 17 people and visited a large number of off licenses,
convenience stores and bookmakers across the foce area last week as
part of an operation to crackdown on business robberies. Since the
beginning of January there have been a number of business robberies
across the county. The main premises targeted during January have
been convenience stores, newsagents and fast food outlets. In the
majority of offences, offenders have been armed, and have
predominantly targeted premises for cash and large quantities of
cigarettes. As part of the operation, which ran between Wednesday,
19 February 2014 and Sunday, 23 February 2014, officers have been
visiting businesses and carried out security and safety assessments
and offer suggestions and advice. A number of businesses have also
been given access to forensic sprays to security mark stock, fogging
devices (which can be set off by shopkeepers to disorientate
offenders) and trackers (which are put in items within the shop so
that they can be traced if they are stolen). These patrols were be
complemented by plain-clothes officers across the area. During
the operation 17 people were arrested; 12 people were arrested on
suspicion of possessing class A and B drugs, one person was arrested
for being wanted on warrant, 2 people were arrested on suspicion of
possessing ammunition and two people were arrested on suspicion of
possession with intent to supply cocaine. 3 premises were also
searched and 7 vehicles were seized for various offences as part of
the operation. Chief Inspector Jenny Sims, said:- "These
incidents have been extremely distressing for the staff members and
customers involved and we recognise the serious impact robberies can
have, especially for small businesses. These businesses provide
vital service to the community; so preventing these crimes is in
everyone's interest. We will not tolerate these offenders who cause
fear in the community and are targeting people who are trying to
make a living. We will do everything within our power to prevent and
deter this type of crime and arrest those responsible. I hope the
action taken by the force this week helps to reassure local
businesses that we are working hard to trace those responsible for
these offences and bring them to justice. I'm sure the community of
Merseyside would agree that the people responsible for these
incidents should be brought to justice and I would urge anyone with
information that could help us bring these offenders to justice to
contact us on:- 101 or Crimestoppers on:- 0800 555 111."