£billions paid to MPs, peers and royalty in housing benefit
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Finance
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A new study has revealed that MPs and members of the Royal Family are paid billions of pounds in housing benefit.
Trade Union GMB's report shows the top 20 highest grossing landlords in 311 of Britain's 380 local authority areas - and the vast sums of taxpayers cash they receive in housing benefit pay-outs.
For example, Grosvenor Estate Belgravia, which is run by the Duke of Westminster and is worth over £4bn, is currently being paid £243,000 in housing benefit every year.
Meanwhile, Conservative MP Richard Drax is paid £14,000 in housing benefit through the tenants on his Morden Estates.
Some of the largest beneficiaries are:
• Jomast Property / John Monk & Co – Over £210,000 in the North East.
• Stockton Flats - Over £1.7m in total from councils in North East, North West and North Yorkshire.
• Grainger Residential Management / PHA Ltd / Grip Nomco 1 & 2 - £1.2m across 16 districts.
• Associated Property Owners Ltd – £89,000. Directors are Lady Diana Errington, Robin Errington, Anne Errington, David Errington, Stuart Errington and William Saville.
• Northwood - National lettings agency getting over £2.3m nationally.
• Blackshaw Holdings – £442,000. Owner John Brooksbank on the Sunday Times Rich list with wealth estimated at £100m.
• Martin & Co - Letting agents, £3.1m from 20 districts nationally.
• Chatsworth Trust - £10,000
• LHT Enterprise - £8,800 from Craven. Michael Bannister, owner of Coniston Hall and the Boundary Mill chain.
• Mountview Estates Plc - Duncan Sinclair, 901st on Sunday Times rich list worth £87m. £300,000 from nine districts.
• Buckminster Trust Estate – £37,000. Sir Lyonel Tollemache donor to the Tory party. Buckminster is a country estate in Leicestershire.
• Compton Estates – £21,000. Castle Ashby Estate, seat of Lord Northampton, Spencer Compton, 7th Marquess of Northampton. One of Britain’s wealthiest aristocrats, =766th on Sunday Times rich list with estimated wealth of £103m.
• Grimsthorpe & Drummond Castle Trust Ltd – £19,000. owner of Grimsthorpe Castle is Baroness Jane Willoughby De Eresby, daughter of the 3rd Earl of Ancaster and grand daughter of Nancy Astor. Inherited Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire and Drummond Castle in Perthshire.
• Cecil Estate Family Trust - £17,000
• Burghley House Pres. Trust Ltd - £9,000
• Penk Holdings Ltd – £12,000. Directors Alan and Joanna Monckton of Horsebrook Hall, Stafford (former High Sheriff of Staffordshire) and Piers Monckton of Stretton Hall, Stafford.
• ADA Glossop / Glossop Caravans - £1.1m across 15 districts nationally.
• Marquess of Hertford - £15,000 from Stratford. Henry Seymour’s country estate is Ragley Hall in Warwickshire.
• Thorney Bay Park Ltd - £1.45m from Castle Point.
• Cadogan Estates Ltd - £116,000. Charles G Cadogan, 8th Earl Cadogan, 18th on Sunday Times Rich list (£3,675m) and Tory donor.
• Lazari Investments Ltd – £200,000. Chris Lazari is 101st on the Sunday Times Rich list with wealth estimated at 858m.
• Woodlands Estates – £745,000. Owned by Andrew Charalambous, UKIP housing spokesman.
• Caridon Property - £2.6m across nine London Boroughs
• Cowdray Estate / Paddockhurst Estate - £118,000. Viscount Cowdray listed on the Sunday Times rich list in =224th place with wealth estimated at £400m.
• Southwick Estates - £39,000 from Winchester. A 7,000 acre private estate which owns nearly all of the village of Southwick. Owned by the Thistlethwayte family.
• Englefield Estate / Gerald Palmer Eling Trust – £626,000. Owned by conservative MP, Richard Benyon. His family are 713th on the Sunday Times rich list with wealth of £110m. He is one of the wealthiest MPs in Parliament. The family seat is Englefield House and 20,000 acre Estate in Berkshire.
• Yattendon Estates - £195,000 from West Berkshire. Lord Robert Iliffe 333rd on the Sunday Times
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 tax havens.
"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.
"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.”