Council housing tenants will see an increase in their rent from next month.
Solihull Council’s cabinet agreed the hike of 4.98 per cent at last week’s meeting but some members said the rise has come ‘at the wrong time.’
Speaking at last week’s meeting, Councillor David Jamieson (Lab, Kingshurst and Fordbridge) said: “I am concerned about this increase.
“Over the last five years, people in council housing have seen a huge increase in their rent - way above inflation.
“This increase is huge when there has been zero rise in their wages.
“The people I am concerned about most is those who pay their rent in full. These are the people who are working hard and seeing their rent increase year on year.
“With energy bills also going up, people are getting to the point where it just isn’t worth working.
“We are trying to make work pay but we are pushing them back into the benefit trap,” Coun Jamieson added.
Leader of the Council, Coun Ken Meeson explained the existence of the Government’s rent restructuring model means the rates paid by council tenants must progressively move towards the amounts paid by those living in housing associations by 2015/16.
“This was a Labour policy,” Coun Meeson added. “Why should people living in other housing associations have to pay more?”
Coun Karl Macnaughton (Green, Chelmsley Wood) said: “I think it is the wrong time to be doing it [increasing the rent] with the bedroom tax that is coming in.”