UKIP Thurrock have responded to the Conservative government’s policy called "Pay to Stay"
Under the proposals, council tenants earning over Â£30,000 a year could see their rent increase by a considerable amount.
UKIP Thurrock Housing Spokesman, Cllr Luke Spillman said: "I had hoped that ‘Pay to Stay’ would soon be placed in the same policy dustbin as the Conservative’s other car crash disasters such as the tax credit and disability benefit reforms. However to my horror this particular aberration has passed through parliament and is set to be implemented in April 2017. Any households living in council properties earning over Â£31,000 will likely be made to pay more for their Council property. The exact details of this have not been finalised and provided to the local authority.
"Thurrock Council will have to means test every council property in the borough and collect the increased rents. I don’t see how there will be any significant remaining funds after Thurrock Council pay for extra staff to administer the scheme, take recovery action against people failing to pay and investigate possible instances of fraud. If that is the case then it begs the question what is the point?
"I suspect that the eventual figures nationwide will be, in the grand scheme of things, minimal. This scheme has nothing to do with revenue raising. However it has everything to do with the long standing Conservative ideological objection to social housing. The Conservatives despise social housing and always will. This policy has been designed to essentially impose a new tax on those living in social housing to put unreasonable pressure on them to buy their homes. This Conservative policy is designed to force council tenants to buy their own home and decimate our remaining council stock. People should have the right to buy their council homes but should not be taxed into doing so by government."
"UKIP Thurrock has spoken to the council to get further details on the Conservative Government plan to charge council tenants increased rent. Thus far the government has not confirmed the final details for the scheme or even the exact date that the scheme will commence. Once these details are available we will release a definitive statement and raise the issue in full council and the housing overview and scrutiny committee."