Friday, 5 November 2010

Brighton Council's latest attack on council tenants' human rights

We've seen the budget deficit used as cover for an attack on benefits and the public sector over recent months, but Brighton Council has given us a new twist this week: using fraud as a cover for an ID-card scheme to make up for the national scheme ditched earlier this year.

On Monday members of the Housing Management Consultative Committee will discuss a plan that could require council tenants to carry ID cards to gain access to their own homes.

What next, one wag asked me today, compulsory bar-code branding for all living in social housing?

A national ID card scheme was a terrible idea. A local one, compulsory only for those living in social housing, is even worse.

This latest attack on basic human rights should be resisted at every turn.

When Labour ran this city they hatched a plan to privatise the city's entire housing stock: luckily tenants resisted and the idea was dropped after a hideously expensive PR campaign trying to persuade them to do exactly the opposite.

Now the Tories want all tenants to carry ID cards. I hope they resist just as strongly and effectively.


  1. 200,000 council tenants nationwide are sub-letting their homes illegally whilst 234,000 people are overcrowded. This means that with this measure, correctly implemented, we could pretty much put an end to kids living in overcrowded homes at minimal cost.
    If you want the state to administer social housing - a system that will always be vulnerable to fraud you need to give them the tools to do so effectively.
    I'm in favour of reducing childhood poverty and plugging the leaks in social housing is vital to do so.

  2. Also, which human right is this undermining? I think you're headline is a little shrill.

  3. Thanks Andrew

    Shrill? Hardly.

    The European Convention of Human Rights, of which the UK is a signatory, prohibits state invasion of privacy (Article 8), and prohibits public action being discriminatory (Article 14).

    Both of these rights are put at risk by this scheme.