No welcome in hillsides for HIPs suspension

by Gary Whittaker

A Welsh MP has blasted the Government for failing to consult over the suspension of HIPs – not because of HIPs themselves, but because of devolution.

Hywel Williams, the Plaid Cymru MP for Arfon, said Westminster had a duty to consult the Welsh Assembly government. He accused the UK coalition of being obsessed with the South-East.

He said: “What concerns me is that it appears no consultation at all has taken place with the ministers’ counterparts in the Assembly government.

“Although HIPs are not devolved, the Housing Act 2004 states that the UK government ‘must consult with the National Assembly for Wales before making any regulations affecting residential properties in Wales’.

“This points to a bad start for the so-called era of ‘new politics’ and ‘respect’ for the devolved administration in Wales.”

Williams added: “The deputy minister for housing in the Assembly Government must give proper assurances that a consultation has taken place. Otherwise I do not see how it can go ahead.”

But a CLG spokesperson said that the Westminster Government had been well within its rights to suspend HIPs, adding:  “Supporters of HIPs are, of course, free to put forward their views on the suspension in the period leading up to the Government seeking powers from Parliament to abolish HIPs.”

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26-May-10General Lettings News